Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hunter's Star Finished

On Friday I attended my favorite "Ladies of the Evening" class - click here if you missed reading about it. One of the things we did at the class was to show some of our finished projects from previous classes. I was able to finish my spring project with about 15 minutes to spare! Okay, I will admit that I even enlisted the help of my friend Louise to finish hand stitching the binding down...we both worked on it over a cup of tea before the class. It's good to have a deadline to motivate a finish!

I stitched in the ditch and then wanted to add some texture with hand quilting using perle cotton thread. But I didn't enjoy the process of that stitching and found it very hard on my hands. I was only able to pull the thread through by using a needle was tough going! 

I finished quilting the cream coloured diamonds, and it is highly unlikely that the green ones will ever be stitched!
Here are 3 of us from the spring class with our Hunter Star quilts in various stages of completeness!
I love my quilt and am proudly displaying it on my dining room table for the Christmas season.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday #44

I thought I would be putting up my civil war blocks for today's design wall post, but I am obsessed with my newest project! You can read all the details of this quilt on yesterday's blogpost.

At the top are the 10 blocks that are completely sewn, and on the bottom of the design wall are 10 blocks that are framed, and ready to slice and re-sort.

I still have 10 squares to frame and resew, which I hope to do this week. On the right is the border print I picked and you can see the narrow sliver of the greenish binding. 
If you want to check out what other quilters are working on, hop over to Patchwork Times and check out the design walls posted there.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ladies of the Evening Mystery Class

I had a great evening on Friday night with 7 quilting friends at Reichard's quilt store. Our teacher Deb Beirnes has been running her "ladies of the evening" mystery classes for many, many years, and I have been attending for the last few years. We started with a show and tell of some of our previous projects, mostly finished of course!
We enjoyed a yummy potluck supper while we visited and set up our sewing stations. And then came the big reveal of our mystery is the fabric kit we received. The squares are Kaffe Fassett fabrics, which will be framed with the jelly roll of tone on tone strips.  
This is the sample quilt being modeled by our beautiful teacher Deb! The pattern we used is called "Slash a stash" by Susan Fuquay. The blocks are constructed like log cabin blocks, which are then sliced up and sewn back together with scrappy fabric combinations. 
We had lots of fun auditioning many different border fabrics when we needed a break from sewing. It was a great evening of playing with fabric and making memories with dear friends, plus we'll each have a great quilt someday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

Two more blocks are added to my collection of civil war blocks. 
Block #32 is Carolina Lily 
It was a real challenge with the bias edged diamonds, and three set in seams to wrestle with. I am delighted that it came out to the correct size, and that it lies flat! (I skipped block #33 which uses templates...yuck!)

Block #34 is Rosebud 
This was an easy block to sew. The photo makes it look like one of the corners is too short, but it's not in real life.
Come back and visit on Monday when I will put all my blocks together for the design wall post.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday #43

I finally have some progress to show on my red letter quilt along, which was inspired by Word Play Quilts. I showed it on my design wall blog post 3 weeks ago and although it doesn't look much different from that post, it is very different!

It took me this long to get all the bits of sashing around the 32 various sized asterisks blocks, then join them together to be the border to fit around the letters. I am very happy with how it looks now, I am just not sure yet if it is finished, or if this quilt wants to be bigger?! Any suggestions?!?
To see other design walls today, hop over over to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

FNSI Report

I can't believe how little I have to show for my sewing last night and this morning!
First of fabric for the new Quiltville mystery is a line of fabric called "Grace" by 3 sisters. This is the first time I have ever bought fabric for a quilt based solely on it's's has so much meaning for me right now, so I bought it!  I don't dislike the fabric, but it's a lot softer and more blendy than I usually sew with. I have no idea if I even have enough to make half of the mystery blocks, but I'll make what I can with what I have. Comparing my fabric to the mystery requirements... my brown=black, red=red, green=blue, and the beige=neutrals.
I washed, pressed and cut step #1 of the Quiltville mystery. I cut a lot of strips and companion angle triangles for the 224 QST's/hourglass blocks. 

And here is all I have to show for my efforts...21 finished blocks!
To see if other sewers were more productive, hop over to the Friday Night Sew-In blog.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Day Tomorrow

It's a big day in quilt land tomorrow!
In the morning Bonnie will release the first step of her new mystery Orca Bay. I have a bit of fabric put aside for this mystery...not nearly enough to make the full size quilt, but just enough so that I can feel like I am playing along. I have to wash and iron my fabric tonight and will be ready to start cutting and sewing step #1 tomorrow.
In the evening it is Friday Night Sew-In and I am joining in the fun for the first time. 
Handmade by Heidi

I have read over the "tips for a successful FNSI" and plan to follow every one. I have a frozen lasagna to pop in the oven for supper, and this is the stack of projects I can chose to work on (3 of which are previous unfinished mysteries!) Or I may piece the backing for this month's UFO, which is also one of Bonnie Hunter's previous mysteries, or I might just work on Step #1 of Orca Bay. Drop by tomorrow night to see what I decided!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

It has been a while since I posted some blocks for my civil war quilt. I have finished 2 more blocks and am working along at a snail's pace but enjoying the sewing, so that's all that matters. 
This is block #29 Railroad Crossing (love it) and #31 Empty Spools (do not love it...too clunky looking with all the other wonderful pieced blocks). I skipped block #30 since I'm only including the pieced blocks in my project. I am looking forward to using some of the new reproduction fabrics I purchased last weekend in the next blocks I sew.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday #42

I have my November project for the UFO Challenge on my design wall and finally have a scrappy border on. These are the "fox and geese" blocks from the Quiltville mystery from 2009 called "Carolina Christmas". These poor blocks have been waiting since April 2010 for this border! My next step is to piece a backing from the scraps.
I really wanted to finish this quilt before the next mystery starts this coming Friday...are you playing along with the mystery?!? 
To see more quilt design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Michigan Stash Dash

Every year my sisters, my Mom and I go away for a women's weekend. This year we decided to combine the getaway with the Michigan Stash Dash since my little sister lives in Michigan. 
The problem was that none of us remembered that the date was 11-11-11 and it was Veteran's Day in the US. So the border crossing was a nightmare - 4 hours parked on the highway and then inching across the Blue Water bridge in Sarnia and finally through the interrogation. So by the time we actually got to the first quilt store, it was already 4 pm. At the second store which was small, there was a busload of shoppers, so we couldn't really see anything and by that time we were too exhausted anyway. Over the 2 days of traveling we were able to get to 5 of the 8 stores. 
It was fun to collect the little charms and to see the lovely projects in each store, but it was difficult to focus. 
The whole experience was so stressful that we didn't really feel like shopping at all. I made a few little purchases to finish up 2 of my quilts and some fabric to add to my collection for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery (starting next Friday - click here for the fabric requirements).  I think I don't need to do any shop hopping for a long time! 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tough going

For the first time in at least 2 years I missed a Monday design wall posting since I have been just too busy to blog, and the same project is still (untouched) on my design wall.  Also my journey with the BRACES is way harder than I thought it would be, and seems to have zapped my resources. My new best friend is orthodontic wax!

I was able to teach a miniature quilting class with the Grand Quilt Guild on Friday. They tolerated my dental challenges very well and we had a fun day of trying different techniques. 

Here are some of the ladies showing a few of the projects they worked on. From all the talking at work, and teaching on Friday, the insides of my lips were pretty much "hamburger" by Saturday, so I missed out on most of quilt bee day at my guild. It is very hard not to be able to talk as much as I usually do!
Sure do hope I can talk and quilt more this week!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

October UFO is Finished!

I am proud to announce that my October UFO is finished! This is one that I worked really hard to finish and it even has the label sewn on the back! 

This was a mystery quilt that Judy Laquidara at Patchwork Times offered in June 2010. It was a fun quilt to sew and I think the instructions are still available on line - click here if you want to download them.
Thanks again to Judy for this great pattern, and for hosting the UFO challenge that has worked out so well for me this year! 

I am pleased with how my first attempt at baptist fan quilting turned out and my plan went fairly well. One row of fans went the wrong direction, which helped me to figure out that I have to start quilting at the same side for each row, even when I turned the whole quilt around at the mid point. I figure that I'm probably the only one that would notice the one wrong row, so I just kept going!
My quilt finished at 65" x 89" and I just had to take a photo of it outside to show the beautiful golden leaves outside my window!
10 months passed and 9 UFO's done...can I finish 3 more quilts in the next 2 months to meet my goal?!?
To see the other completed UFO's, hop over to Patchwork Times.