Monday, August 4, 2014

Baby Twister

It's sure been a long time since I've posted. We've been traveling so I haven't been producing much from my sewing room. Then I got the time to make a few things but I was out of the habit of writing in the blog. Excuses, excuses.

My husband's cousin's daughter Nicole is expecting her first baby--it's a boy--in mid-September. I was in the process of making yet another 'Lil Twister quilt using the irresistibly colorful "Hubba Hubba" line by Moda and thought it would work perfectly--with a  couple of yards of baby blue Minkee!

(This photo was taken before I quilted it and wrapped the Minkee around to the front for a cozy 1" binding. Of course I forgot to take a photo of the finished product before I mailed it off today!)

But. . . how do you like it?!

Ironing Board Cover Challenge

It's been ages since I've posted and I'm sorry for that. We were traveling and I wasn't sewing so I didn't have anything new to post. Then, I sort of got out of the rhythm of posting--I'll bet you know how that goes.

So, I was checking out Judy's Design Wall Monday and found  the blog, Jo's Country Junction which issued an ironing board cover challenge! I can't tell you how long I've been wanting needing a new cover! About 5 years ago I bought a wonderful, extra-wide ironing board (at Costco) with an attached shelf for my iron. It's very sturdy and strong and I love it!
 The cover is now stained and has a couple of punctures that about to turn into rips to say nothing about the fusible web "oopsies". Try as I might, I couldn't find a cover to replace mine--they're all too small! I even called the company that made the ironing board but it's out of business.

Jo's blog was the "kick in the butt" I needed! Immediately after reading her blog, I went into my sewing room, pulled some fabric from my extensive stash, removed my dingy and tired cover and used it as a pattern (cut 3 1/2" wider all the way around), sewed a casing, inserted 3/8" elastic and put the new cover directly over the old (and wonderfully padded) one! Took less than an hour!! If I'd known it would only take that long and would be that successful, I'd have done it AGES ago!

Thank you, JO!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Lil' Twister

"Let's twist today, like we did last summer. . . ." LOL.

I just love the Lil' Twister ruler. I think they make great baby quilts using Charm Packs and donation quilts using Layer Cakes. I fell in love with the "Hubba-Hubba" line by Moda, bought a Charm pack and got to work. Some people think there's a lot of waste making these quilts, and I have to admit, there is quite a lot of "shrinkage" but I love them anyway. 

I started with 99, 5" blocks (44 of the Hubba Hubba and 45 of the polka dot background) and after sewing them together, ended up with the 41" x 50" top above. Then I got to cutting with the small Lil' Twister and after sewing together everything, ended up with this 30" x 37" top at the left--yeah, MUCH smaller--but cute as a button, don't you think? 

If you cut the "twists" very carefully, you end up with leftover pieces you can use in the border--in my case, over 100 2 1/2" squares! 

I'll add a few borders and maybe have them on in time for next week's Design Wall Monday. Better check Judy's blog and see!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quilt Retreat

What's better than 3 1/2 days with nothing to cook, no phones to answer, no one bothering you to do something for them and a room full of quilters and inspiration?! I experienced just that in Murphys California a quaint gold rush, wine country town. Three ladies I'd met at last years' retreat returned and I made a few more new quilty friends which was delightful! We were pampered by our hosts, Joe and Roxie Wood from ThimbleCreek quilts--they are amazing quilt pattern designers AND fabulous cooks!!

 I brought 7 projects hoping to get a couple finished. This is "Almost Amish Too" by Nancy Rink which I've been working on (off and on) for over a year. I'm so happy I got this far! It has a couple more borders but I see the light at the end of the sewing machine!!  
I love alphabets and this is from Primitive Gatherings which is a half-size alphabet from a Moda Blog Hop in February--only 34" x 34". Rather than add the traditional blocks in the 4 spaces called for in the pattern, I created four hand-appliqued animals. Now all I need is a little person to give it to!

There'll be more to see in future Design Wall Mondays from this retreat. Go check out all the other designers on Judy's blog!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blue Ribbons!

My quilt guild, The Valley Quilt Guild in Yuba City California, had its 32nd annual quilt show this weekend. I chose to have 3 of my quilts judged and was very happy with the outcome. I received 2 first place ribbons and one 2nd. I've shown them on this blog before but not necessarily completely finished. Now, they're finished and have ribbons on them!

This is "Merry-Go-Cats", all wool and hand blanket-stitched. It's made from a BareRoots candle-mat pattern that I enlarged to 19". I also changed the kitties to they look like all those who've been in my life past and present.


This one, "Civil War Wagon Wheels" made for my Civil War buff husband to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. (I have to admit I was very proud of my machine quilting on this one and the judge's comments confirmed that!)

This is "Hyphen, Hashtag, Steele" made for my writer daughter and her wife from Tonya Ricucci's "Word Play Quilts," a book I highly recommend to show you how freeing making a quilt can be. There's not really a pattern just suggestions on how you can form these individual letters and then the individual words. 

Check out the other wonderful blogs on Judy's Design Wall Monday blog!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Sierra Sunset"

     I started and finished project this week! As I've said many times before, small projects have a much higher chance of completion in this house! This finished at 16" x 33". I teach a class called "Woven Silhouettes" which is quite popular. It's a technique from Anna Faustino's book, "Simply Stunning Woven Quilts". When I'm booked for a class at a quilt guild or quilt shop, of course, they'd like a sample to put on the wall for a couple of months to entice quilters to sign up. Right now, I have all 3 of my samples 'out' and decided to make another just in case. I'm quite happy with the result! I used gold metallic thread to outline the silhouette and didn't have too awful a time with it considering how ornery it can be. Glad I tried it as it gives it a 'glint'.

       I also started a baby quilt this week and finished the top. I faithfully followed Moda's "Spell It With Fabric Blog Hop" for the past 2 weeks and was so inspired to make something with letters in it. Sandy Gervais' website offered a free pattern that hit my spot. Can you see it says "U R my Sunshine"? Although I had to resize the pattern to fit in the center of this quilt, it's just the right sentiment for this particular baby quilt.

       I'm a member of the Odd Fellows of Davis, CA and we have a delightful young couple in the process of adopting a baby from Korea. It's a long, frustrating process and we really feel for them. The child was an infant when the process started but will be 2 1/2 by the time the paperwork and government agree to let them go to Korea and take him bake to the U.S. The couple must stay in Korea 5 weeks meeting with the baby and his foster parents, quite a costly proposition! The Odd Fellows is holding a fundraiser to help with costs and this quilt will be presented to them.

      Go see the other great Design Wall projects on Judy's blog!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mini QOM

That's "Mini Quilt of the Month". I signed up at my local quilt shop to make one of these little wall-hangings each month (although I'm not sure I'll do them EVERY month). I have an 'eyebrow' window on my front door I like to cover as the sunlight shines a little too brightly through it in the afternoon and these little quilts are the perfect size for it. 

I must tell you that this is quite a bit of a 'cheater' quilt. It's by Laundry Basket Quilts and each little piece is pre-fused and laser cut to make it super easy to put together. I did quilt it very nicely though :-) The piano key border and last border made this quilt 24" x 28".

Have you posted to Judy's blog yet today? 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Road 2 California Show

 How many things other than quilts have you made? Garments, curtains, slipcovers, bags? I think many of us have made bags. I've constructed about 6 of them and tried another one this week. I went to the Road 2 California quilt show in Ontario, CA and chanced upon the booth. Annie has come up with a lot of really cute bags (this is the On The Go bag) and a new "batting" that is soft yet sturdy and makes the bag stand up rather than collapse.

I have to admit, this was a BEAR of a pattern to construct. It took me about 12 hours to make this little bag! Of course, all the seams are bound with bias binding and there are a lot of pockets and "see through" areas for ID and an adjustable strap which required watching a video on her website to figure out! 

The pattern was pretty clearly written but I still ended up with a couple of extra pieces I cut and one part of the directions I never figured 
out--! But that's a lot better than most patterns I've used.

Were I to make this again (which will be never!) I would use a thinner batting. It was such a struggle to get around inner corners using this very thick product she recommended for this small purse. I will use it though for a larger bag that doesn't call for binding in inner seams! 

I also splurged on this portable "Sew-EZI" sewing table! I've wanted one for years and when I set it up in the living room, next to the fireplace, across from the TV and in sight of my kitty, Bobo I was in heaven! It's super sturdy and even when I'm sewing "peddle to the metal", there's no vibration or shaking at all! It folds up very easily, stores in a very nice case and off you go!

Did you post to Judy's Design Wall Monday today? I'd love to see what you've been working on!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Celtic Solstice Finish

I love scrappy quilts! I love using up my stash (making room to buy more fabric) and how they 'sparkle' unlike quilts of just 3-4 fabrics. They are a hassle though; having to press all those different pieces of fabric and cut tiny pieces off them. . . 
I have, however, finished the top (which is one-half of the small-sized quilt!) of Bonnie Hunter's latest free mystery quilt. Phew--what a lot of pieces--close to 1,000! It's 46" square and doesn't have the final element of the 3" Peaky and Spike squares we made but since it's larger than I wanted it to be, I won't be adding those squares but will bind it in purple. 
I used my own colors instead of Bonnie's and know it would have been better if my yellow was purple which I think would have shown off the secondary circle pattern better but, that's what happens with mystery quilts sometimes. But, I like it and have the perfect place to hang it in my home. Thanks to Bonnie for her generosity and creative talent!