Friday, December 31, 2010

This years Phd Challange

Last year I participated in Myra's PhD Challenge and didn't do so good, so this year I decided to be more realistic. Last year I choose seven projects! Goodness what was I thinking!! This year I'm going with three. That sound much more doable. 
#1. This was one of my projects from last year and it's still hanging out on my project shelves unfinished. I honestly don't know when I started this, but I suspect it was sometime in the nineties. All the blocks are cut out, ironed on, six are appliqued, two are started, and the last four are waiting. It's time to have this done!!!

#2. I just started this one in October, 2010. It's to go in my guest room and I would really like to get that room decorated. I need to do the machine applique and finish it.
 #3. Last, but the one that's barely started. This is again for my guest room and only the setting blocks are cut out. Now I have to foundation piece all the other blocks and finish.
 Hopefully my efforts this year will be better and I'll have all three projects done by June! Thanks Myra for sponsoring this!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Wrap Up

Well Christmas is over for another year. Now I have time to really enjoy my decorations! We were so lucky this year. We had all of our children, their spouses, and our new grandson here. I loved having everyone here, the house was full and happy. Everyone has now left to return to their busy lives and things are back to normal here and I find myself missing everyone. One of the things I realized is that I have got to simplify things and make sure I get more rest and put less pressure on myself in December. So this next year my goal is to have all of my presents made by the first of December and I will try not to come up with new ideas for more projects during December. I'm truly going to work on this one. But after all is said and done, even though I was tired during the holiday, I really enjoyed the season and my family. So it was all more than worth it.
Now if you have stuck with me though all these words, I think it's time for pictures. First here are some aprons I made for my daughter, my daughter-in-law, and one of my sons. I used a Sewing for Dummies pattern and adapted it so that the finished product was just what I wanted.
The next picture is of two bags that I made for my daughter. They are my designs. I have been experimenting with bags for a while now and I'm really happy with these two. My daughter didn't want them quilted with batting and I couldn't find any home decorating weight fabric that I thought she would like. I have tried using iron on interfacing to add body to the fabric, but I wasn't happy with the way it washed. This time I pieced the bags then pinned them to a lighter wight canvas and zig zaged around them and quilted them down(no batting). Then I finished and lined the bags. I loved the feel of them, now we just have to see how they wash.
 This next picture is a lap quilt that I made for my other daughter-in-law and son. They just got a new white leather sofa and love contemporary style. So this free pattern from seemed just the thing. It was a joy to make and even the quilting was fun and fast.
 The final project I have to show you is a small table mat. I made two of these and enjoyed this project very much. One went to my husband's sister and one to Teresa over at Moonvalley Quilter.
 I can't do a Christmas post without a picture of my beautiful Grandson. He is now four and a half months old and so much fun. He got a jumperoo from Santa and loved it. We all sat and watched him, he is just so darned cute.
 I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday and I hope your new year is the happiest yet!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Secret Santa Christmas Swap, Some Fun Mail, and Christmas at My House Part 2!

Wow! Talk about a long post title. It's almost a post by it's self, but there's a lot going on here. I'm still sewing gifts and (relief) I'm going to finish everything in time for Christmas. Someday I'm actually going to get my act together and do this early (yeah right).
I received my wonderful gift from my Secret Santa in Canada, Leslie. You can visit her blog here. I couldn't believe when I opened my package. A fabulous hand appliqued table topper. 

 It's so lovely there is no way I'm going to put it on a table and risk someone setting something on it so I've hung it in the formal living room.

 Isn't it lovely and this wasn't all. There was also a Santa doorknob hanger and candy (gone, must I say diet after Christmas)! Thanks so much Leslie!!!
This morning I received a package from Janet of "A Hug Delights". I won one of the three books she gave away on her birthday. There was also a cute fat quarter and candy. Thank you so much Janet!
Now to part 2 of my Christmas House.
My front entry is filled with many of the Christmas wall hangings that I and some good friends have made over the years and the table has nutcrackers and greenery. I have been collecting decorations since my husband and I were first married nearly forty years ago. So many bring back lovely memories so they are all pulled out every year. I just can't seem to leave any in the boxes.
I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well and I hope you take a few minutes to stop, breath and really enjoy the season!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas at My House Part One

It's been a long time since I posted, but I've been busy. I've been working on some Christmas presents that I will show later, as well as, decorating up a storm. First of all, if you're into simplicity and uncluttered, you probably won't enjoy this post. My theory of decorating for Christmas...More is More! I think it's my Mom's fault. She always had the house beautifully decorated and I don't think she ever met a Christmas decoration that she didn't like, so my sisters and I carry on the tradition she started. In my house there is a small room next to the front entry. I have seen it used as an office in some houses, but I have no need for that so I have set it up as a formal living room. It normally has a bit of a Victorian feel to it, but at Christmas that is intensified. 
First is my Christmas tree. It has to be a tall skinny one because the room is so small. There are are many lovely ornaments given to me by my children and dear friends. The angel was made by my Mom is heavily hand beaded. I designed the tree skirt and have a pattern available for it.
 Next is a picture of the inside of my curio filled with my Santa collection. I've been collecting Santas for some time, some are gifts and some I even found at yard sales. They are not particularly valuable, just ones that I really like.
The next picture is my shelves. They are filled with memories also. Mom made all the cute little angels. The plates are some that I inherited from her collection. I made the deer when my children were young. The teapots are gifts from my daughter and my daughter-in-law.
  Last is a picture of the garland between the entry and the living room.
 This room offers a quiet, peaceful place to escape from the busyness of the season. A great place to retreat and read with a cup of hot chocolate or just enjoy the lights.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Just Thought You Might Want to Know About This

I just thought that any of you cooks out there might want to know about this. Quilting Gallery (if you haven't visited this site you should, there is tons of good information available) is seeking recipes for an upcoming cookbook. The catch is that the deadline is tomorrow! If you have any recipes that you would like included please go here. For general information about this cookbook go here. She will be offering a pre-order version to download at only $8.00.

Monday, November 29, 2010

One Week, One Challenge, Secret Santa Christmas Swap, and more!

Wow just writing out that title was exhausting! LOL! It has been a busy week here, but I decided that I had to participate in Amy's One Week, One Thing Challenge, because I really needed to finish my Secret Santa Christmas Swap project. This post is linked to both sites so if you would lie to see more clink on the icons in my sidebar and see what others have done! So without further ado, here it is finished!!!!
It was so much fun to make that I made another one for a gift that I need. It is sandwiched and waiting to be quilted. I also managed to put together a Christmas banner for my front door. I'll show it to you as soon as I finish it. 
I hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year and all went well...way too much food. I guess I diet this week (maybe). The next day we had family quilting day. I'm teaching my son and his wife, my niece, and my great niece to quilt. This time we did foundation pieced ornaments.  My great niece's is in the upper left, my niece's is the upper right, my son's is the lower left, and my daughter-in-laws is the lower right.
Although the contrast appears fine in the picture, my daughter-in-law's tree had a tendency to get lost, so after some brain storming we decided to embellish and this is the result. 
 Cute, huh!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Two Quilts I Haven't Shown Before!

May your life be filled with peace and plenty!

Since I have spent the last week doing a massive house cleaning, there hasn't been much happening in my sewing room. I thought I would share with you two quilts that I made in my preblogging days. The first was for my oldest son and his wife to celebrate their wedding. 
Next is the quilt I made for my younger son and his bride.
 Both quilts were quite a challenge, but I learned a lot, enjoyed the process, and I'm proud of both quilts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sew Cal Gal's Christmas Quilt Show

It's time for SewCalGal's Christmas Quilt Show. My entry this years is a quilt I made in 2002 while we were still living in Northwest Montana. It is a Debbie Mumm pattern. The original pattern featured much smaller blocks and was intended to leave as raw edge applique. I just can't seem to do that so I enlarged the pattern and used hand guided machine applique. It was a fun, happy quilt to make. I hope you enjoy it!
Here are some close-ups of the blocks. All pictures are clickable.

 I hang this quilt in the front entry with some of the other Christmas quilts I have made over the years. I find myself hating to take them down at the end of the season.
 If you would like to see more Christmas quilt go here. Thank you very much SewCalGal for sponsoring this show!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet My New Grandson and Some More Birthday Gifts!

I spent the last week and a half in California meeting my new grandson. It was wonderful to finally be able to hug and kiss and cuddle him. I also loved spending time with my son Matt, my daughter-in-law Joanne and my daughter Jessica. We were also joined for a few of those days by my younger son Jacob and my daughter-in-law Amanda. My husband kept the home fires going and took care of our dog, who is no longer up to traveling. So although I usually don't put pictures of my family on my blog, I just have to introduce you to my little grandson Max!
Isn't he beautiful! He's a happy, wonderful baby and I loved every minute that I was able to hold him.
Before I left, I was able to complete a couple of items for my son Jacob's birthday.  I made him a bag to carry a cutting board, a large ruler, and a rotary cutter. Jacob and Amanda are part of a group of family members that I'm teaching to quilt and I thought the bag would come in handy for the days we get together. 

I also made him a reversible table mat for their dinning room table. One side features Christmas fabrics. 

The other side will be good for January. 
You may recognize this pattern, I also made Jacob's wife an October and November version for her birthday. If you would like to see them go here. 
Now it's on to Christmas sewing. I'm hoping to get my gifts finished earlier this year!  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

It's that time again! I so look forward to the online quilt festivals. So without further ado, on to my quilt. I have had this quilt on my blog before but it was a long time ago so I thought you might want another look.

I call it "Mom's Dresden Plates" and made it to honor my Mom who passed away in the fall of 2008. She was 96.  She and I used to go to quilt shows together and I noticed she was always attracted to the quilts with Dresden Plates. I chose thirties fabrics because I'll never forget the day we walked into a quilt shop will a large display of these fabrics. She was so excited! To tell you the truth, I just thought they were kind of weird, but they have grown on me and I love them now. I think Mom loved them so much because the originals came out when she was a young wife and mother and the reproductions brought back so many happy memories. This quilt is very small, fifteen inches by nineteen inches. The blocks measure four inches square. I made more blocks than I needed so I used one on the label on the back. I also made these two pin cushions from another two.
I hope you have enjoyed my quilt and my story. Many thinks to Amy for hosting this event. If you would like to see more quilts and read more stories, go here. Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Finishes

I'm participating in Amy's "One Thing, One Week Challenge", only I guess I didn't think and listed four project that I wanted to finish. I did finish the two most labor intensive project and hope to have the others done by tomorrow night. So here goes...first I finished my son's birthday gift. It is a smaller version of a recent finish called Stepping Stones. I found the pattern in one of the fall 2009 American Patchwork and Quilting magazines. My son loves miniatures so I made it smaller. 
 Here is a picture of the both the regular sized version and my reduced sized one. The colorful blocks in the regular version are 7 inches square and in the smaller one are 3 1/2 inches square. Both quilts are fun to make and not difficult.
 My other finish this week is a small quilt for my daughter-in-law. It is my design and I haven't named it yet, but I' really happy about how it turned out and I going to have to make one for myself! The blocks are 4 inches square.
I'm hoping that my son and daughter-in-law like their birthday gifts. Now on to the other two projects listed! If you would like to see more finished projects for this week  stop by Amy's and see what others have accomplished this week. Many thanks to Amy for hosting this challenge!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Winners and a Couple of Projects

Many Thanks to all who entered my giveaway!!! Also Thank You to Debi for sponsoring the giant giveaway!!!!! Now For the winners:
Jessica @BeforeTheDawn
"Thank you for the wonderful giveaways! I would be super excited if I won North Woods Noah!"

"I love the Christmas Tree skirt. If I win, that is what I choose. Thanks for the opportunity."
I will be contacting you shortly via email. 
Now on to the projects. The first one is a bag I made for my daughter for her birthday. She has become interested in quilting and just purchased a ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter so she needed somewhere to store them as well as an easy way to transport them. We went to a home decorating fabric store and picked out this cute fabric with elephants. The nice thing about this kind of fabric is that it is very wide usually about 60 inches and a heavier weight than regular fabric. With one yard of fabric I was able to make the bag with a long pocket to hold the ruler and a smaller pocket for the rotary cutter. 
 Sorry the pockets don't show up better but if you click on the picture you should be able to see them!
The next project isn't mine. My daughter and my husband share a birthday. She made him this cute little bear with a technique called felting. She starts with a little piece of colored wool and then adds progressive more with a barbed needle until she finishes. It is a long process and took many hours to make this little guy. The bear is because my husband is a Montana Grizzlies fan. The red sweater is because my husband often wears a red windbreaker. He will eventually have a green and yellow scarf because my husband is a major Green Bay Packers fan.
 This little bear lives in a coolie cover in his Packer's shrine!
 Isn't he cute!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Thank You and Previews of What I'm Working On

First of all I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog and left a comment on the Fall into Fall Giveaway. The response has been amazing and I'm sorry to say there is no way I'll be able to respond to everyone. A big thank you to all of you who have joined as followers! I appreciate you feel my blog is worthy of you attention.

Now on to what I'm doing right now. First I need to tell you how I work. Occasionally (very occasionally) I start a project and power through, start to finish, but usually I have several things going at once. Do you think I have a cluttered mind, a short attention span or what???? 

My first project is a sew along that I signed for some weeks ago, with good intentions, of course. Then other things got in the way, so I'm about 5 weeks late in starting. It called "Ladybugs in Polka Dotville by Ivory Spring (see my sidebar). Well, I finally started this weekend. I am using fabrics from my stash rather than the recommended ones. So without further ado, here is part one! I also made some small half square triangles from the trimmings and have a coordinating project in mind. The fabrics are from Mary Engelbreit's Carolers collection and Fusion Flowers by Kaufman.
 The other three projects I'm working on are to complement my BOM (see post here). I'm planning on using that quilt as a bedspread in my guest room, so I thought I would make some wall quilts to go with it. First are some setting blocks for the wall hanging above the bed. I've cut the printed pieces out, now to make the main blocks and as well as, finishing the setting blocks.
  Now on to my second project for my guest room. This is just a sneak peak of a project I'm in the process of designing.
 Finally the project I am actively sewing.
 This a quilt designed by Kim Schaefer from her book "Flowering Quilts". Her version is done in country fabrics, but I thought it would translate nicely into reproduction thirties fabrics. As you can see I still need to finish the pieced borders on the last four blocks. Then I'll do the machine applique. So with that said I'd better go get to work!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. The winners are:
Jessica @BeforeTheDawn
Thank you for the wonderful giveaways! I would be super excited if I won North Woods Noah!

I love the Christmas Tree skirt. If I win, that is what I choose. Thanks for the opportunity. 
Thanks to all who entered!!!!!!!!

I've got a really busy day tomorrow so I thought I would go ahead and post now. It's finally here... the huge blog giveaway, not to mention my first giveaway. I had a really hard time deciding what to give away and finally came up with two different giveaways. First is a pattern by Art to Heart called North Woods Noah and 10 fat quarters of homespun to get you started. 
Next I thought I would give away my pattern for a Christmas Tree Skirt and 2 1/2 yards of beautiful Hoffman fabric, enough for the background of the tree skirt. Both pictures are clickable for a closer look.
  Now I had to think of what you must do to get one of these giveaways and after much thought I decided to make it simple. Although I was tempted to ask you to follow my blog for a chance, I decided not to (although I would love if you do decide to). What I want you to do is leave a comment letting me know which giveaway you would like. That's all... one little comment letting know which to send to you if your name is drawn.
Many thanks to Debi for sponsoring this giant giveaway! To find more giveaways go here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Block of the Month Quilt Top Finished

It's taken a whole year, but it's finally made into a quilt top. All pictures are clickable for a closer look.
 Now for an explanation of why a whole year. I joined a BOM group sponsored by a local quilt shop. Each month starting Sept. 2009 we were supplied with a kit for four six inch blocks. We also had a choice of color ways and I chose the thirties reproduction fabrics. The blocks were fairly simple because they have to be suitable for beginners as well as more experienced quilters. As the months went on the block in the kits I was making just weren't coming together in any cohesive manner, so I decided to design a new block each month using the kit blocks in the four corners. To unite the blocks I had the four outer middle blocks form a star and the center block is always a pieced Dresden Plate. Here's another closer picture.
 The blocks are large 18 inches square and then I bordered them with an additional one inch of white fabric so none of the colored fabric would touch the sashing. The quilt is quite large measuring 80 inches by 100 inches. I'm really pleased with my finished top and can't wait to see it quilted. Here's another picture.
 If you would like to see pictures of my block in progress,  feel free to browse earlier posts here. Also, be sure to go to Amy's Creative Side and see how others have met a goal set last Monday.