Sunday, December 18, 2016

Buried Treasure

It is a TREASURE and yes it was buried (in my sewing room!)!
It is my record of gifts given and received from long ago! As I flipped through, all these memories came flooding back to me. So many quilts, bags and table runners; so many Christmas decorations; and even a record from when I did a Secret Santa all year long  back in 2000. There were knitted toys and crocheted afghans, and so much more!
I remember I made the cover for the notebook so I could try stitching with metallic threads. Metallic threads were so much more finicky than they are today.  As I remember it did not work out well in the beginning.
I started keeping the record in 1998. It seems so long ago. I haven't added to the book in a few years. I started it at a time before digital cameras and I don't have many photos for what I have made and given from back then. I think in the new year I will dig through some of those old photos...
And maybe this would be a good year to start this tradition again!
And here is a quick project I've been working on while I have been visiting with my dad. A small granny square afghan to enjoy. I may even have it done by Christmas!
I LOVE the colors! These would make a spectacular quilt too!
And meet new pet snake. I made a pair of them for my step son and his friend for Christmas and I was smitten. I knew I had to have one for me! They are fast knits with self striping sock yarn. The pattern is in Susan B. Anderson's book Itty-Bitty Toys. One snake took less than 2 evenings in front of the TV. He ties perfectly around my Ott-Lite  but until the pair are opened on Christmas morning he has to hide.

Now I am home all week and don't have a lot to do except take care of my Mr. who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Christmas gifts are done and wrapped. The baking is almost done and the menu's for Christmas eve and day are almost figured out.
I think I'll enjoy some Christmas movies while quilting!
Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Theme is Getting it Done!

I confess that I have absolutely no idea where my motivation is coming from. I am getting things checked off my UFO list at lightning speed!
First I fixed my snow angel cross stitch or at least I improvised the fix!
With a leap of faith I took apart the frame. It really wasn't too bad.
 As it turns out I had missed 2 whole rows of the urn. I ended up stitching right over the green stem. I didn't take out that single green stitch because it would have meant taking out a lot of stitches.
It actually hid quite well under the gold.
And now she is ready to hang for Christmas!
Next I finished two pairs of woolly socks for my Dad for Christmas. I make him socks every year. He wears them every evening watching TV and wears them to bed to keep his feet warm. When I ask him what he wants for Christmas his first answer is always socks! It makes me so happy to know that I can make him something that he loves so much and that is such a part of his daily life!
The next finish is this adorable knitted and felted cat. I had bought this Mary Mayhew pattern and the wool when I was in New Hampshire this past spring visiting relatives.
I have named him Felix. My husband thinks I should make an orange cat as a companion!
My little machine applique quilt is all ready for quilting! I am not quite sure how I want to quilt it yet so this may wait until the new year to finish.
I really enjoy the sweet birds and I am enjoying the neutrals as well.
And finally not quite finished but some progress has been made on these felt Santa ornaments.
The more I stitch the cuter they get!
This one is ready to embellish!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I LOVE it when motivation strikes! I have thought of updating my blog often the last couple weeks but I have been so busy and happy accomplishing things I haven't gotten around to it. So here are a few things I've been doing...
It all started with spray basting quilts for the first time! I got five quilts basted. (The one above I am going to quilt next - I am hoping to get it hung in my sewing room for the winter) I still have two from my pile left to baste but I have to piece a backing first. These 5 will keep me busy for a while though. I'll give some thoughts on spray basting in an upcoming post and after these 5 are quilted, bound and washed.
Above are two of the smallest ones, machine quilted and ready to sew the binding...
and here they are all done and washed.
The pinwheels are already living on the bottom shelf of my coffee table.
The Bear Paw (love, love , love it!) is hanging in my sewing room.
I also added some decorative stitching to some of the raw edge machine appliqued blocks.
And here they are trimmed and ready to sew with the sashing. Finished the blocks are just 5" square and now that I see them altogether I am liking them more.
They still seem flat to me but quilting will help.
I also sewed a lot of bias stems for the borders of my hand applique quilt. It seems as if it has been a long time since I touched it so I am looking forward to getting back at it.
This little knitted creature will be a cat as soon as it dries. I just finished felting it and stuffing it so now it s drying before adding the finishing touches.
Finally my thoughts have turned to Christmas. Yes I have been making a few gifts though not as many as I usually do. This cross stitch has been done for a few years. The first year I hung it and part way through the season I realized that the urn on the right had no handles and it was supposed to! Arrrrr!
So my thought at that time was that is ok...part of its charm...I haven't hung it since because it BOTHERS me to no end. In a mad cleaning session last week I found it tucked away and I knew it had to be taken apart and fixed.
Wish me was professionally framed so hopefully I get it all back together looking as good as it does now. 
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Machine Applique and Santa Hat Love!

It as taken a while but I am finally ready to try some new machine applique techniques. I have dabbled in machine applique every once in a while but never enough to really know if there is that one technique that works better for me than others.
 So I decided to make 3 little quilts.
This first one has little 5" blocks and is all fused. Here are all the blocks fused and ready for stitching. I am loving the neutrals on the blue!  
The edges are all buttonhole stitched down. I still have lots to do and some embellishing as well but I already know that fused applique is not for me as a general applique method. It does have it's place but I find it flat - especially as someone who loves hand applique.
 I am sure the embellishing and the quilting will make a difference...
Next up - turned edge machine applique. I'll be trying the starch method and also the method Kim Diehl uses by ironing the seam allowance down to the shiny side of freezer paper. Then I'll try both clear thread and matching thread to stitch it down. I am not trying glued edges - I just can't bring myself to put that much glue in my quilt - sorry to all those quilters who love glue!
I am looking forward to finding a method I can really enjoy so I can get back to applique - I have a few in my queue including the Civil War Bride Quilt.
Although I know I will miss all the handwork I used to be able to do at least I am still able to enjoy making quilts - just with different techniques.
And I loved that Santa hat so much that here are six more!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Making do and a BIG mess

My it has been a LONG time since I blogged. I've been trying to get a handle on all my seven quilts that need to be quilted.  That doesn't mean that I have actually quilted any...yet. But I have been making backings and piecing battings to get ready for a marathon basting session. I've been making due and trying to use what I have on hand...trying to use up fabric I'll never use on the front of a quilt and trying to use up the larger bits of batting scraps.
Here is my work so far! I'm hoping next week I can get at least half of them basted and ready to quilt.
I have also been very messy....
Looking for UFO's, searching for gift ideas in the clutter, and just petting things!
My cutting table...only has space to cut the smallest of pieces. 
My coffee table...where's the table? 
And the Elf work has begun.
This I made for my favorite Aunt Sharon (she supplied the pattern and kit) but I loved it so much I had to make more. One for me...5 for others!
And it is time for me to start trying new ways to machine applique. This is a little fused version of a Lori Smith 'Fit to Frame' quilt. Not the best picture but I will take better ones as progress comes along. I plan on buttonhole stitching around the edges. All the appliques are a selection from about 6 neutrals that I used throughout the quilt. There will be 12 blocks in all.  
Now it is time to get cleaning up that sewing room before I lose myself!
Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happiness is... and a bit of catching up too...

Happiness is having your sewing room back....a month and a half ago my youngest stepson moved back home and into my sewing room. He was in between places to live. He moved out this weekend and I've been busy getting my space back to normal!  
In the meantime I have been still sewing at least a bit. I spent quite a bit of time with my dad this past month so I set up my Featherweight in his front porch and enjoyed piecing this Bear Paw quilt.
It was from a very old American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
It was so much fun to sew. It is just 31" x 43"!
 Now it goes into my pile to be quilted. (more on that later)
I tried the new Clover mini iron on this project and although it was 'ok' for pressing seams in the single components ( such as triangles) it was disappointing when pressing assembled blocks. It wasn't hot enough or heavy enough to do a good job.
I'll do a bit more testing though. It may be work well in paper piecing.
And I've been cutting for a 'far into the future' quilt...a scrappy Pineapple!
I am making a bed sized quilt with 14" blocks. The lights are cut all from my scrap bin. I think I have settled on blue scraps for the other color but I may yet change my mind. I'm not in a hurry.
I have lots of projects in my pile. And here is another pile - quilts that need quilting.  I have 7 quilts that need to be quilted. 2 are small wall sized, 4 are lap sized and 1 is huge (104" square).
Since my hands started hurting I have come to realize that even free motion quilting will hard on my joints so I am about to get way more skilled and creative on machine quilting with a walking foot. Pinterest is a great place to get inspired! And I have a good selection of quilts to practice on.
And slowly I have been continuing my hand quilting. I can do about 2 thread lengths most days before my hands give out. It is sad knowing that this will more than likely be my last hand quilted project. Still I am hopeful that occasionally I'll be able to big stitch a small wall hanging or table runner sized project.
Today will be a great day to finish cleaning up my sewing room and get back to the tiny nine patch.
Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 15, 2016


My little hexagons are framed and hanging on my sewing room wall!
It's hung where I can see and enjoy it everyday.
This is certain to be one of my favorites for many years to come! 
The old 16"x20" frame glued back together nicely and painted up well.
I matched the paint to the neutral 'path' fabric.
Now another UFO has come out to play. Last year I was in Houston for Quilt Festival and took a class from Melinda Bula.
I never finished the quilt when I got home so that is the next UFO on my list. A couple of solid days is all I need for the highlights on the flowers and then the leaves. I have no idea how long it will take to do all the thread painting - that will be the true challenge!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Old UFO's

I've been slowly making progress on some old UFO's I've had hanging around.
These kitchen hanging towels have been in the works for years. I have no idea why it took me so long to get at them because they took less than a day in my sewing room to finish them off. Not long ago I dug them out from the bottom of a box and finished cutting the tops and gathered the bottoms. I had enough kitchen towels for 14 of them!
 Thanks to the pattern from Kleio's Belly  it was fast and easy to get them finished.
I did a few things differently. I gathered my top edge and it worked great for the thin towels but I had a couple thicker towels. They would have worked better if they had been pleated - not so bulky and wanting to slip under the sewing machine foot.
Also I stitched 1/4" away from all the edges of the top.
Then I used my favorite Velcro instead of a button and buttonhole - Fabric Fusion -a fusible Velcro that works great!
Then I finally finished the mittens I started last winter!
This is Cruiser - a pattern from The Daily Skein (and also Ravelry)
I wasn't reading the pattern very well - not the patterns fault I like to read ahead and sometimes make assumptions so I tore them out several times before vowing to read the pattern as it was written!

This was a beautifully soft wool  - Reverie from Knit Picks! Now I can't wait until winter.
And then a bit more work on a recent UFO - my mini hexagon stars!
Here they are taped front and back to the "borders" and getting ready to stitch them down. I am just using invisible thread with a very small zigzag stitch to sew them together. On the back they are overlapped about 1/2" so there is room for a bit of mishap if needed.

It is turning out great. I can't wait for the reveal!
Happy Stitching!