Friday, December 30, 2011

Free Block of the Month: January Blocks and Calendar Holder

Here it is 2012's Block of the Month! First a little information about the blocks.  I designed the blocks as calendar blocks so each block reflects a theme for the month. The blocks are designed to be 14 inches square if bound and used as stand alone blocks on your calendar holder. If you would like to use them as part of a quilt, they will finish at 13 1/2 inches. Each month will include instructions for a traditional pieced block and a foundation pieced block. Please be sure to make sure that you don't scale down when you print out the foundations. The calendar holder will hold a finished block and paper calendar up to 14 inches wide and 12 1/2 inches long. So without further ado here are January's blocks and the calendar holder. Just click on the red print, it will take you to a Google document. Click on the download original button and it will download a PDF to your computer.
These are the blocks I made.

I will be setting up a flicker group where you can share you versions of the blocks. I hope you like and use these blocks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Couple of Quilts I Couldn't Show Before, Etc.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We certain did around here. 
I thought I'd show you a couple of quilts that I made as gifts. The first is for my oldest son and his wife. It is a cuddly lap quilt with a cozy flannel back. It's a Moda Bake Shop pattern called Sugar Pop N Change Quilt by Melissa Corry. I added another row to make it longer and some corner squares to the sashing. It was great fun to make and I'm pleased with the results. The fabric is from Connecting Threads.
 The second quilt is a free pattern from Hoffman called Go With the Flow by Stephanie Prescott. Again I made some changes. The original is made with some watery looking batiks. I wanted a more bold, graphic look. This quilt is for my second son and his wife and is intended to hang on the wall behind their sofa. They seemed very happy with it.
 I have been thinking back about the quilt projects I've worked on this year and the one I'm the most proud of I haven't mentioned much on this blog. This past year I designed and wrote the instructions for 25 blocks for our guild's block of the month. It was fun as well as completely challenging. I have decided to share them with you also. So starting in the next couple of days I will post instructions for two blocks a month except for the month that Easter falls in. That month gets a bonus block. The blocks are designs as calendar blocks and can be used as either a stand alone block to attach to a calendar(I will provide instructions for that too) or made into a quilt. I hope you will enjoy my blocks and please feel free to share the news with others. I appreciate my readers and hope you will enjoy this year in quilt blocks.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa Sack Swap

This year I participated in the Santa Sack Swap. We were to send a Sack and two small gifts to your swap partner in July and then two small gifts each month until December. In December, we were to send the two small gifts plus a larger handmade gift. My partner was Sandy from Georgia and she was an awesome! So generous!!! I opened all my gifts this morning and I'm just floored my the amazing array. Thank you so much Sandy! I love everything!!!
Here's the first picture of wonderful gifts.
Can you believe it? I had so much fun opening all these gifts.
Next is a lovely hand embroidered and hand quilted wall hanging, some lovely seashell ornaments, and a beautiful angel.
Thanks Again Sandy!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas at My House Part Two

I thought I would show my entry and formal living room next. I completed my 12 Days of Christmas wall hangings earlier this year. A major UFO finish (I started them well over 10 years ago). Here they are finally finished and hanging in the entry!
 This is another view of the entry looking in from the living room.
 This is the formal living room tree. It is the most elegant tree I put up. My Mom made the angel for the top. Her dress is intricately beaded.
I even added ornaments to the living room chandelier and pretty red crystals to the one in the entry (I've always put the candle rings around the lights)!

I posted the TV room decorations in an earlier post as part of SewCalGal's Christmas Quilt Show. If you would like to see it go here. I hope you have enjoyed my decorations and quilts, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas at My House Part One

Since all my sewing projects right now are gifts and the recipients may check my blog, I can't share my them with you until after Christmas. So I thought I would show your my Christmas Decorations. I think we will start with my great room. This is a room that includes an eat-in kitchen and small informal family room. Let's start with the tree. First of all you must know I love sunflowers and although they are not a traditional Christmas flower, I think they look beautiful with red and green.
Here's little Oliver enjoying a nap under my Santa at Home wall hanging. Teresa look closely and you will see last years ornaments on the side table!
 Next I added some Christmas quilts to my wall of quilts.
Finally there is another favorite one above the old re-purposed  dresser that hides the TV. I also added a lighted garland, a cute Santa, and some ceramic deer that I painted when the kids were little.
The next picture is another side table with some fun treasures. A tiny quilt shop given to me by a friend, a pine cone tree made by my son in scouts, a snowman teapot from my niece, a Santa that bounces down a pole to find his sleigh, and finally under the copper dome is a magical little tree made by my daughter.
A garland hangs in the arch between the kitchen and family room.
 I decorate my kitchen chandelier and hang wreaths on the pantry doors. 
 My table has a quilted topper with a poinsettia.
  The little shelves to the side of the sink have some unusual Santa's and friends.
And just when you thought this post would go on forever, one last picture. This is my hutch with some of my seasonal teapot collection and some precious ceramics made by my Mom when the kids were little(the two Santa's on the bottom shelf).
 I hope you are enjoying the holidays and finishing any projects that you have in the works. Come back for a peek at part two in the next day or two!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mug Rugs and Free Printable Christmas Ornaments

This is such a busy time of the year, so it's nice to take some time and have some fun. Last night was our quilt guild's Christmas Party and it always delivers fun. We had potluck, games, great show and tell items, and a mug rug exchange. I incorporated an ornament I designed into the mug rug I made. I think it turned out great and the lady who received seemed happy with it.

 I received a lovely mug rug in exchange. I love the reproduction civil war fabrics and the colors coordinate with my great room perfectly!
I had a wonderful time and ended up with a mug rug that I will really enjoy.
If you would like a copy of my Octagon Ornaments, please look in my sidebar and if you make any, I would love pictures of them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

SewCalGal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show

It's time again for SewCalGal's annual Christmas quilt show. I thought I would show a series of quilts that I designed and made for our family TV room a few years ago. I purchased some Mary Engelbreit fabric that I thought was perfect for what I had in mind and went to work. First of all I needed a wall hanging for over the fireplace, Santa and Frosty are the result.
 Then I thought a mantle scarf would be fun.
Then, of course, I needed a tree skirt. This pattern is available as a freebie on my sidebar.
 I decided a runner for the coffee table would be nice.
 And finally an advent calendar was absolutely necessary.
Here is a picture of the room decorated and ready for Christmas.

 If you would like to see more wonderful Christmas quilts go here. Thanks for stopping by!!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tree Skirt Finished!

I finished my sister's tree skirt! Finally...she's only waited eight months since her birthday!
She chose the fabrics to go with a tree in her entry. I made this one smaller than mine because she has limited space for the tree. I'm very happy with the results and hope she will be too!
I first designed and made this pattern for my oldest son and his wife. They wanted a funkier tree skirt that I usually make, so it was a bit of a stretch for me. Here is the design I came up with for them.
I really enjoyed making this tree skirt and they seemed very happy with it. I love the fabrics.
When I decided to make one for myself last year, I knew I wanted it more traditional and had also become obsessed with Dresden Plates. I substituted a Dresden Plate ornament for the round icicle ornament, changed the shape of the background a bit, and picked some very traditional fabrics. Here's the result.

 My tree skirt is not as big as my son's and larger than my sisters. It's nice to be able to adjust the size so easily to fit the space.
I think now it's time for another Oliver, the puppy, update. He is now eight month old and I think pretty much full grown. He is still chewing everything he can including catalogs, library books, and ipod earphones. We have puppy proofed the house and are hoping we have everything out of reach. He has quit chewing electrical cords after some strong admonitions from Mom and Dad, although we still watch him closely.

He has also become very timid. New things are very scary! It will be interesting when the Christmas decoration come out. Our last dog was always frightened by them, but then adjusted. I think we will get a similar reaction from Oliver.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've Been a Lazy Blogger!

Sorry I've been such a lazy blogger. I have been sewing, however. First I made these blocks for a block of the month group that I belong to. I'm really enjoying these blocks. Our theme is blocks from Japan and so far these have been fun easy blocks to make. No half square triangles like all the star blocks last year. I'm also enjoying the blue and white. They seem so crisp.

 I also got my tree skirt blocks appliqued and the first border put on them. It's always so good to get that first border on and not have to work with bias edges any more.

 I appliqued them with metallic thread and was in a bit of a panic because I had run out of needles for metallic thread. Finally, I just used a regular one and had no problems. I used Coats and Clark metallic thread and it was wonderful. Much improved since the last time I used it. It fact, I think it was the best that I've used in a while. Now I just have to add another border and then I can sew the whole thing together and my sister can get her birthday present...only 8 months late!

I've also been working on my grandson's Christmas stocking. I'm determined to finish it so he can use it this year. I'm making good progress. I've decided to do all the rest of the cross stitch and then do the outlining stitches on the rest of the stocking. 

I hope you have a wonderful and productive Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Week's Project

Just a quick post to show you what I'm working on. My niece's birthday is today and I have been working on a lap quilt for her. My original pattern was a freebie from Benartex, but of course, I can't seem to ever just follow a pattern so I changed it. You can see the original pattern here. I wanted my quilt bigger and I changed the trees just because I liked my version better. So without further ado here it is. 

Just the top for now and that's how I'll wrap it up for her. Then I'll bring it home and quilt it, hopefully finishing it before the weekend is over! The fabric is from Susan Winget's "Noel" from last year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I had hoped to have a new quilt made and ready for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival, but that didn't happen so I decided to show a quilt I made for my Mom for Mother's Day in 2004. I haven't shown this quilt on my blog before so it's new even to my regular readers.
Mom loved stained glass-look quilts, flowers, and hummingbirds. We always had a feeder outside the kitchen window so that we could watch them while we had breakfast. So when I saw this pattern I had to make it for her.
When she received the quilt she was so happy. The quilt followed her to a care center two years later and often when I would visit her it was laid on top of her bed. When Mom passed away in 2008 the quilt returned to me. It now resides in my formal living room on a beautiful sofa that Mom left to me. I think about her every time I pass it and enjoy the memories she left.
 If you would like to read a little more about my Mom go here.
Be sure to visit Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival and enjoy all the other wonderful quilts and stories.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Accuquilt giveaway!

Just a quick post to let you know about an Accuquilt giveaway! Kari over at Fresh Cut Quilts is giving away a Baby Go and two dies. Take a quick hop over there, she has made it very easy to enter!!! You will also enjoy seeing her great blog!

A Great Visit, Revisited Project, and a Wonderful Win!

My husband and I just returned from a lovely trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I have two children that live there, as well as a daughter-in-law and grandson. It was so good to get to see them again. My daughter-in-law, daughter, grandson, and I visited a local playground that is very toddler friendly. It was so fun to watch little Max discover new things. The first picture is Mom, Max and the turtle bouncer.
The next is a couple of adorable jailbirds also know as Aunt Jessica and Max.
And speaking of Max, here is a picture of my progress on his Christmas stocking. I'm hoping to have it finished by Christmas, so I've really got to stitch fast!
If you would like to see where I was last progress report, go here.
I also have a lovely win to show. I had a pet on SewCalGal's pet show and won a lovely calendar from her. Thank you so much. I enjoyed looking though the pictures and remembering the pets, quilts, and stories! Sorry about the quality of the picture, I just couldn't get one without flash.


Friday, October 14, 2011

I Won!

I won a lovely bunch of fat quarters, complements of Thearica of "Pigtales and Quilts" and Marcus Brothers textiles.
Aren't they lovely. I see a civil war quilt in my future! Thanks so much!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Design Floor

Here's whats on my design floor today. It's the beginnings of a tree skirt for my sister. This is my design. The ornaments are now fused to the cut out sections. Next I will machine applique around all of them. I also add a hanging ribbon so they are not just floating in space. Then I add a couple of borders to each section and sew them all together. Check out more projects over at Judy's blog.
 I was able to finish the block tote that I started last week and used it on Saturday. I am a little worried about the blocks falling out and am trying to decide if I should add some kind of fasteners to the sides or maybe a pocket on the inside to hold the blocks more securely. Not sure yet which I will do...still thinking.

 Also if you follow my blog you know that my daughter, Jessica, is one of the design finalist in the Connecting Threads contest. Today they have a nice post about her and you can see her completed designs. Here's a link. As I've said before I'm so proud of her!