Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Watercolor Bird

At my last guild meeting one of our members taught some of us how she uses watercolors on fabric. We each made a watercolor bird.

My background bled a little into the bird but I learned a lot. She had lots of samples for us to look at to get ideas for various ways to quilt our birds. Mine won't get quilted until after I get all of my gifts made.

The teacher provided everyone with a pattern as part of our class fee. The bird is traced onto the fabric before painting. So no drawing skills were required for this project! It was a fun class.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modern Monday Quilt Along

It's been a lazy long holiday weekend. I'm not ready to return to the normal routine! I did get my block done for last week. Here are all 10 of my blocks.

The lone block in the bottom row is last weeks block. I didn't get a good picture of it by itself.

Now go over to Caroll's to see her snowball block.

To see the block for this week go over to Jenifer's blog, Forty-Two Quilts. To see blocks made by others playing along go to the Modern Monday Flickr group.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Warrior Cats

The boy has discovered a new book series, Warrior Cats. The books are rated a little above is AR level but his teacher let him check the first one out anyway with one caveat, he had to pass the AR test in order to be allowed to check out any more. He did pass the test and is now on his third Warrior Cats book. These are his first "real" books (not graphic novels, no pictures, lots of words per page, and lots of pages in the book) that he has read entirely by himself. He's been capable of this for a while now, but just didn't want to.

The books have sparked his imagination. Here is his Thunder Clan sign on the playroom door.

And here is the flag we made one evening.

He did everything except the sewing around the applique and the T and C stitched in red. (Sorry for the dark photo. I'm too lazy to take another picture.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Charming Baby Quilt

No UFO progress this week but I do have a finish that will not become a UFO. I made the top at retreat.

The pattern is Charm Squares Baby Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!

I quilted it rather simply.

And was brave enough to put a solid on the back.

Quilt details:

Fabric: Charm pack of Origins by Basic Grey for Moda and Kona Stone (I think. It was from stash)
Finished size: 32.25" by 39.5"
Quilted with Omni Thread by Superior Threads, TEX 30 size, polyester, color is Maple (it was a free sample that came with Hattie)

I don't know what I will do with it now that it is finished. I just liked the pattern and wanted to try it. The pattern is great, by the way. She gives instructions for using a charm pack, like I did, and for cutting your 5" squares from yardage. It is clear, correct and easy to follow. I am considering making another one using my stash of 6" squares and adjusting the sashing measurements as necessary.

Hop over to Susan's to see what the other Little Green Quilters have accomplished this week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baking and Binding

So far today I've made Cranberry Orange Relish and Challah bread for tomorrow's dinner.

Up next is Pumpkin Pie.

In between baking I'm also hand sewing binding to the back of a quilt. Or at least I was until Goldie decided to take a nap on my project!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US and I'll be taking the day off from blogging. I'll be back on Friday with a finish.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Memory of Faith

One of our guild members lost her granddaughter in Iraq last year. Being quilters, we made her a quilt in honor of her granddaughter, Faith. It was presented at our meeting on Saturday.

We were told to make a 9" finished block. Anything we wanted. I made a heart. Fifth row down from the top, second block from the left.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Another fun block this week. A string block.

The quilt is shaping up nicely.

Now go over to Caroll's to see her string block.

To see the block for this week go over to Jenifer's blog, Forty-Two Quilts. To see blocks made by others playing along go to the Modern Monday Flickr group.

Friday, November 18, 2011

UFO Bust Report

I have only one UFO left on my list and at this point it doesn't look promising that I will be able to work on it before the end of this year. No matter! I've done really well already. I am surprised and pleased with how many projects I was able to finish. I have created a few new UFOs this year but I'm not going to worry about that.

Go over to Susan's to see what the other Little Green Quilters have been doing this week.

Just because I haven't made any UFO progress this week does not mean I haven't been busy. Unfortunately it's the kind of busy for which you don't have a lot to show. Things like grading, laundry, shopping, and LOTS of computer work.

However, I can show you these dish towels that I embroidered for a gift.

They turned out pretty well. I embroidered the letter on solid fabric then appliqued it to the towel. I opted for this method for two reasons. (1) I was afraid the embroidery wouldn't show up well on the plaid towels. (2) I wanted to hide and protect the back of the stitching. I have a stack of dish towels and I plan to make a few more of these.

I also quilted one of the tops I completed at my recent retreat. I'm still working on the binding and I'll show it to you when it's finished.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Zipper Pouches

I've been in gift making mode recently. I won't be showing every gift I make but I think it's safe to show you these.

A zipper rainbow. I'm getting pretty good at putting in a zipper.

I had fun photographing them.

There are 18. I made multiples of the ones along the top row. I was trying to use the zippers I had on hand. However, I did have to buy a few more to have enough.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winning Wednesday

Recently I won a book, The Devil's Puzzle, from Jackie of Jackie's Art Quilts.

The book arrived earlier this week along with an adorable bookmark Jackie made for me. Thank you for the book Jackie. I LOVE the bookmark! Blog friends are the best!

By the way, Jackie has a great blog and a new Etsy store. She sells her hand dyed fabric and other fun stuff she makes. Check out her store and her blog if you need some inspiration or a good laugh. Jackie writes a humorous column for a Canadian quilting publication. She shares some of her columns on her blog on the Articles page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crocheted Potholder

My son has a small part in our local college's upcoming production of A Christmas Carol. It has meant numerous evenings of rehearsals each week. I have enjoyed watching the show evolve and have been spending my time crocheting. The theater really isn't bright enough to sew, but I've had no trouble seeing well enough to crochet.

So far I have made a potholder using this tutorial by Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue.

It's just like the one I won, blogged here. I've only been crocheting for about a year. I've made one scarf which turned out terribly, mostly due to a bad choice of yarn, lots of dishcloths, a few Swiffer covers and now a potholder. Since I'm not an experienced crocheter, the construction of this potholder confused me a bit. I couldn't see how this was going to work. But I followed Deanna's excellent instructions and photos and everything worked out exactly like she described.

My confusion was due to lack of experience, not Deanna's instructions. I'm not experienced enough to read the directions and figure everything out before I start. So I just start and do step 1. By the time I'm ready for step 2 it usually makes sense to me. Then I proceed to step 3 and just trust that I'll understand each step when I get there. So far it has always worked out.

I've started another potholder. There are still three more weeks of rehearsals before opening night on December 2nd. I'll probably make a few more potholders at this rate.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Modern Monday Quilt Along

 Last weeks block was a pinwheel. Here is my version.

And here are all of my blocks so far.

Go over to Caroll's blog to see her pinwheel. Then go over to Jenifer's blog to see what we are making this week. You can also see other blocks in the Modern Monday Sampler Flickr group.

Friday, November 11, 2011

UFO Bust Report

I finished the Lollipop Flowers.

It turned out alright. I added a little green strip that peaks out underneath the binding to bring that color out some.

This quilt is has issues, most of which are not readily apparent to the observer. So I'll say no more about them. It fits perfectly in the spot in our living room where I wanted it to go. And my family likes it.

Click over to Susan's to see what the other Little Green Quilters have been up to this week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Year's Ornaments

I am making initial ornaments this year using Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci as inspiration for the letter designs.

These are the first few. I'm using only scraps. For the most part I'm using print fabric for the letter and solid for the background. It helps the letters to stand out more and shows off the hand stitching I'm adding for embellishment. These finish between 3" and 5" on a side.

To finish them I'm overlapping two background pieces, one top stitched and the other not. I'm using my machine to embroider the year and my initials on the back. I finish the ornaments "pillowcase style" with a ribbon hanger sandwiched between the layers. I turn it right side out through the opening left by the two overlapped back pieces and then hand stitch this together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recent Winning

I won this wonderful crocheted potholder recently from Deanna of Wedding Dress Blue.

She also included a cute little needle keeper which is perfect. I got a couple of these thinking that they would be wonderful to travel with, but they are all too large for my little travel kits. This one fits!

If you haven't checked out Deanna's blog you should. She has some wonderful tutorials, one for the potholder I won. And one for the needle keeper. She is always up to something interesting and does a lot of charity sewing. She also refashions clothing, which scares me but she makes it look so easy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Modern Monday Quilt Along

I did my own thing for my week 7 block.

Jenifer made a cute skull block, but I didn't feel that it went with my mental image of this quilt I'm making. So I made the above curvy block instead.

Caroll also did an alternate block for last week. Go over to her blog, Attic Window Quilt Shop, to see what she made. There is also a Modern Monday Flickr group for the quilt along.

Friday, November 4, 2011

UFO Bust Report

Last week I pulled out my Lollipop Flowers UFO to work on. All I accomplished last week was getting it basted.

This week I quilted it.

This was a round robin project through my guild a few years ago. I made the center vase with flowers and then three other ladies added the borders. I was a little disappointed with the lack of creativity on some of the borders, but I like it now that some time has passed and it's quilted. I think I'll add a little something special with the binding. I haven't decided exactly what yet so it will be a surprise for us all.

Go over to Susan's at Blackberry Creek Home Arts to see what the other Little Green Quilters have been up to this week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Retreat Projects

I worked on several things at my guild retreat last weekend. The first was the mystery block I showed you recently. The blocks are still in a stack waiting to be sewn together.

The first thing I made was another Jelly Roll 1600 quilt top.

This is another one for charity. I haven't decided which charity yet.

Then I made another jelly roll project using the other pattern I've been playing with recently. Here is the direct link to the short video instructions for the block.

This is two packs of 2 1/2" strips from Connecting Threads. It's their Valor Sampler. So it will be a Quilt of Valor when finished. I only got the blocks made at retreat. I assembled the blocks in small blocks of time over several days this week. For this one I mixed up the squares cut from the strip sets. I think I like the more controlled version better, like what I did with the Noodle Surprise quilt top. I didn't mix up the squares cut from the strip sets so the squares on point are more prominent when you piece the blocks together. Or maybe I just don't like these fabrics as well as the Noodle Surprise fabrics.

Then I made this cute little baby quilt.

The pattern is called Charm Squares Baby Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. I cut everything before the retreat so it went together very fast.

My Leader and Ender project for the retreat was some four patches.

These were made for 4 Patches 4 Hope.

Regina is collecting four patch blocks to make into quilts for cancer patients in memory of her mom. She wants to collect 1000 four patches by Februrary 28, 2012. She is also hoping to raise $4000 for the American Cancer Society, $4 for each block. Regina has made it very easy to participate. Go to 4patches4hope.blogspot.com  for all the details.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Retreat Mystery Block

Every guild retreat I've attended has had a Mystery Block project. Whoever is in charge picks a block then writes the clues that are handed out throughout the retreat for those who are participating. A few past blocks have been a dog, a penguin, a fish, and a really challenging flower. Initially we had a raffle to see who would win the blocks. Lately the Mystery Block chairperson has been taking all the blocks and turning them into a charity quilt.

Guess who was the Mystery Block chairperson for the retreat we had over the weekend? Me! I decided that I wanted to make a Quilt of Valor so I had everyone bring red, white, blue and gold fabric for the blocks. Here they are.

I had to make an extra block yesterday so that I'd have 20. I love how the blocks turned out! I hope to get the blocks together soon then I think this one needs a border.

This year's retreat was also the "jelly roll retreat." I showed everyone how to make the Jelly Roll 1600 quilt and how to make the one I called Noodle Surprise. The directions for that block can be found here. I made one of each which I'll show you another day. The batteries died in my camera just as I was getting ready to photograph my retreat stuff. I only got to take the one photo above of the Mystery Blocks.