"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it." Gwen Marston

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I’ve been busy!

I’ve also been remiss.  I received this postcard from Lin over a week ago, and forgot to share it!  Lin was my partner in Sheila’s Christmas postcard exchange.  If you pop over to visit Lin’s blog, she gives a description of how she made it – very interesting!

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The fabrics are shimmery and so beautiful!  Thanks Lin.  I forgot to take a picture of the card I made for Lin, so I’ll have to wait and see if she posts a picture.

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Last month, I did some cross stitching, and finished two projects.  I haven’t framed or made them into anything yet, but here’s what I have so far.

This pattern was designed by my friend Liz over at Sunflower Fields Pattern Co.  Liz no longer designs cross stitch patterns, but instead, she designs the cutest little wool patterns that you’ve ever seen.  If you’ve never been to her blog, you should definitely pay her a visit.  I actually asked her about this pattern when it was in the background of one of her little wooly displays, and she very graciously gifted me the pattern.  Thanks Liz!!  I’ll get it framed soon.  I love all things sunflower.

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This is Daisy Lane Cottage by Little House Needleworks.  I think I started it several months ago, and then it languished in the ‘pile’.  I always have to have hand work available when I’m watching TV, and it’s what I grabbed one night.  I think it might get made into a small cushion?  I also love patterns with houses and cottages.

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But enough about Spring flowers and cottages.  Let’s jump to the current season.  Our Guild is doing a UFO Challenge, and this was the first UFO that I had to complete.  My goal was to get it quilted and bound, but as I may have mentioned last month, I discovered that I had never put it together.  It took me nearly an entire day at Retreat to make the sashing and get it all pieced together.  I give you Warm Winter Blessings.

This was quilted on my Sweet 16, and I’m tickled pink with the way it turned out.  This is by Primitive Gatherings, and was done as a BOM through my quilt club at the LQS.

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There was a LOT of leftover fabric from the sashing, which is scrappy, although it’s hard to tell in this picture.  I got 12 fat quarters, 6 neutral and 6 of the medium blue, and I only used about half of each.  I’ve already made a small wall hanging from this line of fabric, and I have another wonderful snowman quilt coming up soon with this fabric.  So I turned the ‘scraps’ into another quilt.

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This was given to our Guild Service project for the Sheriff’s Department.  Sorry about the quality of the picture, but I was ready to hand it over when I realized that I didn’t have a picture yet.  Very simple, but I really like it, and I’m hoping it will comfort a child in need some day.  I thought these quilts were due at the December meeting, but I actually have another month, so I may try to get one more made from y ever growing supply of scraps.  The ONLY requirement for the quilts are that they must fit inside a 2 gallon zip lock bag.

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Other than a huge pile of flimsies waiting to be quilted, I don’t have a quilt in progress right now.  I must remedy that soon!  I certainly have enough fabric and patterns to choose from. 

What to start next?         Sunny

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

FNWF results

I’ve been procrastinating posting, because we haven’t seen the sun in many days, and I have no decent photos.  Rest assured that much quilting, much binding, and much ripping have been happening at Chez QD.

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Last Night was Friday Night With Friends, and I managed to produce two very simple little mug rugs for former coworkers.

We don’t normally exchange gifts, but they were very helpful in keeping me sane as my job was ending.  We’re getting together for lunch one day this week.

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I also made a small project using this fabric, which I totally love.  It makes me happy, and I hope it will make someone else happy soon, too.

   

If the sun ever comes back out, I’ll get pictures of two other quilts.  The small one is completed, and the larger just needs some more stitches on the binding. It should be finished tomorrow. 

I also have to do some gift wrapping tomorrow, and get two packages ready to ship.  Then Ill have to check my list twice to see if I have everything I need that will be hand delivered.  Almost ready!

Thanks for stopping by!      Sunny

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.  Later today we will be gathering with family to enjoy a feast and give thanks for all our many blessings.  I’m thankful that we’re guests, and don’t have to do all the cooking and cleaning.

I’ll be delivering the Four Seasons quilt that I was asked to make last Thanksgiving.   I had fun with it, and I hope the new owners will like it.

I’ve finished two small quilts this week.  One is for our Guild’s Service project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pink fabrics that make up the star and the scrappy binding were ‘scraps’ from previous projects.  The backing is fabric that a former coworker gave me.  I thought there were about two or three yards, but there were actually six yards!  I’m sure I’ll be able to put it all to good use.

The other quilt is a secret, so I won’t be able to show it until after Christmas.  I did most of the quilting on my Sweet 16 – we’re becoming friends at last!  I did some meandering in the outer border, and I had to rip it all out because the tension was bad.  I had checked and adjusted it before I started, but I guess I still didn’t have it right.  I think the problem was the thread I wanted to use, so I ended up using the thread on my DSM, and it turned out great. 

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We had our first snow yesterday, and while the forecast was for 3-6 inches, we probably got about an inch and a half.  And because it was 70 degrees on Monday and in the 50’s on Tuesday, the roads were warm enough that the snow melted on contact.  There certainly wasn't enough snow for this.

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And the only snowmen around are on the quilt that I’m going to start quilting on Friday.

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wish me luck!              Sunny

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Counting my Blessings

I hate November.  I was trying to think of a clever title to convey that, when I thought of the poor people in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas.  It is cold and dreary and bleak here, but I am not buried under five or more feet of snow.

Our leaves, which were so pretty and colorful a week ago, have suffered from the first hard frost, and are now brown and dried up.  This is now just a memory.

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But I would rather look at dry brown leaves than several feet of this.

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We have had several days of very cold temperatures, but we are warm and cozy in our house.  I just saw a news story that in some areas of New York state, they are running out of food and fuel because of all the snow.

I have my sewing machine and many crafts to work on.  I am not out shoveling all that snow! 

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The tiny little Scrap Star quilt is quilted!  And I actually used my Sweet 16 for the quilting.  I WILL master that thing while I’m not working.  We’re going to have another session today, in fact.

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The sun refuses to cooperate, so you’re not seeing these trees in their best light.  The cardinals and one border are actually red.  This quilt will rely heavily on quilting to bring it to life.  I don’t have a clue how I’ll quilt it, so any suggestions are welcome.  I started this at a previous retreat, and finished most of it at the  recent retreat.  I’m always surprised at the finished size of my quilts.  I think this is intended as a wall hanging, but I don’t know many people with a blank wall this big!  I need to learn to read the sizes and try to visualize them before I get started. 

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Shhh…  this is secret sewing for Christmas.  I’ve been doing a lot of hand applique, and the end is in sight.  I like it so much I don’t really want to part with it, but it is intended as a special Christmas gift.

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I also started a new cross stitch pattern that has been in my basket for a couple of years. 

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And just yesterday I started a new stitchery project.  I went to our guild’s Hands On sewing day, and took my new light pad to try out.  The light pad is awesome, and I’m already in love with this little stitchery.

So, I have plenty of hand work to keep me busy on these cold not-yet-winter nights.  And I have a stack of flimsies just waiting to be quilted.  And I have enough fabric and patterns to keep me busy for several years.  And I have my new friends from Hands On.  And I have my many blog friends.  And…And….And….

Many blessings, indeed.      Sunny

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Monday, November 10, 2014

FNWF and Retreat results

I know I’m a little late posting for FNWF, but I was just too tired yesterday to function.  I sewed all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday.  Saturday night I couldn’t fall asleep (too much quilty stuff in my brain?), so I was miserable on Sunday.

Why does everything take so much longer than planned?  Does it have anything with being surrounded by about 80 quilty women and their projects?  Thursday’s goal was to finally make this quilt.

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This very small quilt has been to at least three retreats, and because of various problems, was always put back in the box.  The pieces were cut out, and one star had been made previously.  I hope to get it quilted today.  The binding is made and ready to be applied.  I purchased this as a kit about three years ago, and I gave away the pattern when I was finished on Thursday, so I can’t give you any information other than the name, which was Scrap Stars.

Friday’s project involved snowmen.  Our Guild is having a UFO challenge, and this is the quilt that I said I would quilt and bind before the December meeting.  The only problem was, I forgot that I hadn’t put it together yet!
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I spent the entire day on Friday cutting and sewing the sashing and borders.  This was done as a BOM last year, and I had kept up with the individual blocks, which are made from beautiful wools on cotton.  I’ve seen several others out in blog land.  This is a Primitive Gatherings pattern.

Birch trees were the theme for most of the day Saturday, and on Sunday morning.  I don’t have a picture yet, because I still have to finish the final border.  I’d like to have the borders completed before our Guild meeting tomorrow night. 

I didn’t take many pictures of others’ projects, but I do have to share this.  The strips for this had been cut, but this was entirely strip pieced and put together in two days!!!!  No, that is not a typo.  TWO DAYS.  I’m sure it would have taken me at least two months.

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Retreats encourage me.  Inspire me.  Feed my soul as well as my body.  My dh doesn’t really understand why I want to pack up all my stuff and go away to sit and sew all day.  Can’t I just do that at home?  NO.  It’s all about being in a room with like-minded women who speak my language.  Other quilters are always quick to lend a hand, offer some advice, share a scrap, and inspire.  If you’ve never been to a quilt retreat, I urge you to try one.  I’m planning a Girls’ Day out next week with three new friends.

And speaking of friends, here are two who pretend not to like each other.  What do you think?

Happy stitching!      Sunny

 

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loving the sashing!

Not much time tonight, because I should be packing for my retreat.  But I got my Charming Stars put together, and I’m really happy with them.  They definitely needed the sashing.

I was really on a roll on Sunday, so after finishing this, I put together a baby quilt with some of my pink scraps.

I’ll use a scrappy binding for this, and that will finish off many of my pink scraps.  It’s hard to tell in this picture, but all the pinks are different. 

I have enough blue charms left from the Charming Stars to make another quilt, and I plan to make it child sized.  Then it and the pink quilt will be donated to our local Sheriff’s Department for our Guild’s service project.  They keep small quilts in their cruisers to be sued when a child needs comforting.

Must go pack now.  Much sewing to be done over the weekend.      Sunny

Monday, November 3, 2014

Charming Stars

Charming Stars are a lot like potato chips.  You can’t have just one.  Or four.  Or eight.  Remember this lovely stack of fabric squares cut from shirts?

As you may recall, I’m combining the Shirt Challenge with the Charming Stars Sew-a-Long.  The shirt challenge calls for a quilt made of only six shirts, plus one other fabric to tie everything together.  We can also add fabric for binding and backing.  I’ve had a pile of shirts that I’d been wanting to use, and when I saw that Sheila was combining the two projects, I immediately knew that that was what I wanted to do, too.  The plan for the Charming Stars is to make 4 stars per month, beginning in September.  Well, September didn’t quite go as planned for me, but I did manage to get the shirts deconstructed.  Last week, with October drawing to a close, I decided that I need to get busy and make stars.  But I couldn’t stop once I started!

I made all 16 of the stars!  I don’t have a design wall, and these stars even pushed my ‘design floor’ to the max.  In my next life, I’ll have a huge sewing studio with an enormous design wall.  A girl can dream, can’t she?  Anyway, I’ve seen a couple of people planning to put their stars together like this, without the neutral sashing.  Hmmmm…shat do you think?  I agree – the sashing is needed.  Back soon with the completed top! 

Happy Stitching…..Sunny

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I was wrong.

Fall is not nearly over.  As a matter of fact, summer may not even be over!
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We reached about 82 degrees today (28C) so we loaded up the kayaks and headed to a small lake nearby.  What a beautiful day.  We saw several people walking their dogs, a few bicyclists, 2 stand-up paddle boarders, several fishermen, and even a couple of families with small children playing in the sand.

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I thought it was odd that we could hear the traffic noise from a nearby interstate highway, but then I realized we don’t normally hear it because the beach is normally crowded with shouting laughing children.

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Today was just quiet and peaceful.  And a little sad knowing that it was the last paddle of the season.  We return to more seasonal temperatures over the next couple of days, and the kayaks will be in storage by the end of the week.

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On the stitching front, I’ve been working on my Charming Stars, and should have some blocks to show by tomorrow. 

Hope you’re enjoying whatever season you’re in!  Sunny

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Huge Ta-Da!

Yesterday, we packed up a picnic lunch, and went for a drive, looking for more pretty fall colors.  While most of the trees in our town are still green, fall is nearly over in the ‘mountains’ all around us.  We did have a lovely drive, however, and enjoyed eating our lunch beside a deserted lake.

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When we got home, it was time to put the finishing touches on my seasonal quilt.  In keeping with today’s theme, I’ll start with Fall.

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The inspiration for this was the pumpkin, which I made for an online Mystery BOM from a couple of years ago.  That’s as far as I got with it, so the pumpkin has been laying around in my room for at least two, maybe three years. 

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Winter was going to be a big basket of snowballs with snowmen faces, but when I realized how big this block was going to be, it just didn’t work.

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Spring was adapted from Vicki Bellino’s “For the Birds”.  I had to applique the bird houses instead of piece them, because I didn’t want the background to be pieced.  Otherwise, I just changed the sizes very slightly, and it was perfect for my needs.

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Summer was inspired by a mug rug that I had seen on Flickr a couple of years ago. 

Last Thanksgiving, DH’s niece told me that I was making a wall hanging for her to hang on the long narrow wall above her staircase.  She gave me the dimensions, asked that it be seasonal, with winter at the top, and that it be completed by this Thanksgiving.  How do you think I did?

It’s 30 inches wide, and about 8 1/2 feet long.  DH is standing on our deck, and I’m taking the picture from down below.  I can’t wait to see it hanging on their wall.  I’ve been working on this for months, and I’m so glad it’s finally finished.

I was in the need of some instant gratification last night, so I made a few more mug rugs for our Hospice fundraiser.  The blue block was leftover from another project, and I almost tossed it in the trash, and then realized that it could have a new life.

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Now I need to start planning and cutting projects for my retreat in a couple of weeks!

~ ~  Sunny ~ ~

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