Thursday, December 31, 2009

A few more to wrap up the year

Posted by Strlady at 11:39 AM 3 comments
Since I was taking advantage of Margaret's great quilting services I decided to get a few old UFO's out to her. The problem was that none had backing and some still needed work.

Determined to get her the quilts before the New Year I dragged Brenda and GP, who were here on vacation to my local (30 minute away) quilt shop to pick up some 108" backing for 3 quilts. It was a partial success since I got full backings for 2 of the tops and yardage to piece another backing.

I found a wonderful cranberry textured fabic for the Stack n Whack with lattice sashing you see here:

I made this one when I got bit by the Stack n Whack bug back in 2000.
I think every quilt I made that year was designed by Bethany Reynolds.

I found a wonderful Purple fabric that I had to piece to back this other Stack n Whack. I was a bit nervous sending this one out since I am a bit superstitious and I had designated this top for my daughter's house - seeing that she is not yet married I had issues finishing it before she could use it (it has a jungle theme and very much a child's quilt)

Here is an old pic I found of a Show n Tell before I had added the borders (That's me in the White shirt), you can see the fabric yardage on the seat next to me.

Finally, I had to add a border to this old mariner's compass quilt (also designed by Bethany in the book Stars a'la Carte) before I could get it out the door.

I had kept the background fabric tucked away for 9 years becasue I knew the piece needed a border and I had to use the same fabric. I actually did not think the borders would make such a difference and was amazed that it did.

The piece just looks... finished!

Margaret sent me a sneak peek at the quilting on this one and it's going to look fabulous!

I also added the binding for a small Wallhanging Brenda wanted me to finish for her. She put in the final stitches while here.
So in total I pieced two backings (one for the Pumpkin Patch and another for It's a Jungle out there), Added sashing to one quilt (The Pumpkin Patch), bound two quilts (the RWB and The Pumpkin Patch), added a binding to a Wallhanging and added borders to the Mariner's Compass piece. Add to this the help I gave to my daughter in getting her quilts ready to be sent to Margaret and it was a busy month in the quilting dept.

I think I'm ready for 2010!! Bring it on!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It was a Quilty Christmas

Posted by Strlady at 9:49 AM 3 comments
Another quilt that was given this year was The Red White and Blue. This one had been completed back in August, but I had not gotten around to quilting the piece.

I sent it off to Margaret Gunn and she had it back to me in time to bind it and give it to my sister, Jessica before she went off to PR for the holidays.

Here it is bound and ready for it's new owner:

I put a flannel backing to it since Jessica's biggest complaint is that it's not warm enough.

I used some left over charm packs to join the backing

And make the binding..

Margaret did an all over pattern with some Stars thrown in which was exactly my vision for this quilt. After a quick wash the stars became scruffy giving it a more cuddly feel.

I love this one. I'm sure it will be well used.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First finish of the month was weeks ago...

Posted by Strlady at 9:43 PM 2 comments
I just never got around to posting about it. I was actually planning on going lite on my quilting this month because I had tons of work to do but it seems I was able to squeeze in more quilting than I had thought and the first thing out the door was the Gobble Gobble project that I was keeping under wraps.

The Pumpkin Patch was started a few months ago with a few Charm packs of the Gobble Gobble line by Sandy Gervais. Fell in love with this line back in the summer and I knew someone that would enjoy a quilt made from this fabric.

I decided on doing a disappearing nine patch using the design Rachel made over at The Moda Bake Shop.

Back in November I had pieced all the blocks and cut the sashing.

This month I added the final sashing  and completed the top.

Well, if the quilt was to be a Christmas present I had to get moving on the quilting and I was not feeling very quilty (I hate quilting the top!). After a few days I realized there was no way that this one was getting quilted for Christmas and since it wasn't going to get to it's home on time I decided to have someone else quilt it or me.

The problem with getting in queue for a quilting service is that the waiting lists are so long. But I just luck out!
Perusing my bloggy friends I came across a post by Bingo Bonnie, a fellow Texan that had a quilt recently quilted by Margaret Gunn from Mainely Quilts of Love. The work looked great and Bonnie mentioned that she was taking in quilts for prompt quilting. Not just that but she was having an introductory special during the months of November and December. When I emailed Margaret, she was available to quilt the piece and she was going to get it back to me by Christmas!! OMG! I was soo excited!

Not only did the quilt arrive in time...

I sent her just a rough picture of the pumpkins I was thinking about using as a pattern and she incorporated it in the quilting.

The quilt was beautifully finished with an overall pattern that gave it the look I had in my mind

 Here is another pics of the quilting...


 I bound it with some extra yardage I picked up on my last trip to my favorite Pumpkin Patch.


 Brenda who was visiting Texas with GP this Christmas was able to take it home to snuggle under it during her long New England winter.

Although the special introductory sale is gone with the new year her prices are still very low and her work looks wonderful!! you can find her info and prices on her blog, Her regular website does not reflect her online pricing, you can find that on her blog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Posted by Strlady at 9:34 AM 1 comments

Last weekend we bit the bullet and got out the holiday decorations. My nephew and sister will be spending Christmas with us and she called earlier in the week to make sure we had our Xmas tree up by the time she arrived. It seems my nephew, who is autistic, wanted her to pack her tree for the trip over...uuum..she lives in New Hampshire. He would be mighty upset if there was no Christmas tree out and ready when he arrives on Tuesday. So we put our back to it and put up the tree.

The worst part of the process are stringing the lights so this year I strung the lights in sections so that I could pull the tree apart come January and leave the lights on. Next year it will be a breeze.

The best part.. Pulling out the decorations.

Some pieces are heirlooms, like this candy cane which decorated my parent's tree for many years before mom decided to go with a more stylized look and was going to discard these childhood memories. I snatched them up and was lucky that everyone thought they were an eyesore and no one wanted them. I have a piece of all my Christmas pasts hanging on the tree every year and they have now become a piece of my daughter's Christmas past.

There were several Gingermen in the same collection.

Since my daughter was born I have always put up a Christmas tree and every year we try to add an ornament or two. They can get donated from friends or get hand made but every one is cherished and gets a chance to hang on the tree.

My daughter has taken over decorating the tree over the last few years.
She does a great job but she hates the stringing of the lights too.

She was telling me that she needed to avoid certain ornaments to keep her sanity.

Like these:

This nativity scene has pieces no larger than an inch in height with the baby spans no more than 1/2 an inch. The problem is not so much the size but the fact that it's a nativity scene and she feels compelled to recreate it on the tree. It's no easy feat to find so many branches together so that the scene remains intact. This year, the mini ornaments took a rest and did not make it to the tree.

Most of the ornaments made it on the tree this year before we put the Garlands up.

We do a few wooden garlands before putting some wiry stars in place.
Then a bit of tinsel and finally the star.

Definitely a fun time putting up the tree this year. Our Nativity set gets laid down but baby Jesus doesn't show up until Xmas morning. It's my way of keeping focus on what Christmas is all about. I had done this for many years but it wasn't until a few years ago that my daughter (then 19) realized that the baby was missing from the mangier (sp?). She went nuts! Thought Pepper (our small dog) had eaten it and we would now have to run to the vet with her. We had a good laugh out of that one.

Anyway, the decorating isn't finished yet, we are waiting for our own interior decorator to arrive on Tuesday with GP and Pepper, who now lives with them, so she can put the final touches to the place. Can't wait!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December's to do and looking toward 2010

Posted by Strlady at 11:47 AM 1 comments
I honestly don't know what I'll be completing this month. It's Christmas, it's the busiest time of year at work and we are getting some special guests this month that I want to enjoy; so I don't want to firmly commit myself and yet I have several Must Do items on my list.

First is wrapping things up on my Gobble Gobble quilt.

With all the blocks completed and the sashing all cut, it's just a matter of just sewing it all together. I expect this one to be completed with no problem.

I also have a binding to put on a wallhanging that Brenda made. I already cut the binding and just need to attach it. It's a sample for the shoppe and she has a generic pic on the site right now but I must say, that pic doesn't do it justice. 

I decided not to join my Schnibbles group this month. They are making Tuffets and with other things on my plate, I decided to skip this month. I'll be back for sure next month since I am loving how the Schnibbles give that immediate gratification that sometimes we miss.

Now just because I'm taking it easy this month doesn't mean I'm not thinking about things to come! Yup 2010 is around the corner and I'm already commited to several more months of Schnibbles. But also I'm thinking of making a few of Miss Rosie's bigger projects....

Like this True Blue Pattern I fell in love with in Houston!

I also bought a few other of her patterns recently and posted about it in November. I'd like to make at least 6 of these quilts in 2010. I originally thought I'd make one a month but there are sooo many beautiful quilts out there I have to give myself some wiggle room to make a few others. Like this one:

Yup. I just finished collecting all the red prints I'll be using for this quilt. I plan on picking up the background for it this weekend. I couldn't find the background used in this picture (out of print Moda?) but I found a great cream paisely print from Kim Diehl's Molly's Meadow collection. I hope they still have it at the local quilt shop.

I also have a few quilts I'm eyeing from my stash of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazines...

These could keep me busy for several YEARS!

Anyway, I'll post more details on my projects come January, I'm just jumping ahead of myself.

Oh! I also have to get ready for my quilt retreat in January! Need to decide on my project and cut my fabric so that come the time, all I need to do is sit and sew!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I want a Cowboy...

Posted by Strlady at 2:36 PM 6 comments
My quilt guild is having a potluck later this month and those with surnames in the I-P sections are charged with making main dishes. So I was off to find an interesting dish for my fellow Texas quilters. what other place would I go but to visit my trusty friend The Pioneer Woman. Is she your friend too?

Everytime I go to her site I want to go visit her and find me a cowboy like her Marlboro Man.

Yeah, if you look at it down to the nitty gritty details you would say "No Way!!" but the simple life, where hard work and dirt under your nails is the norm... Well...  I think I would love that.

So today I'm adding a Cowboy to my wishlist. Hey, I already live in Texas!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Schnibble.. Done!

Posted by Strlady at 5:35 PM 9 comments
Have I mentioned that I don't like basket patterns. No? Well maybe it was because I really didn't know I didn't like them until I tackled this month's Schnibble project. At times I asked myself why not stars? It was my birthday this month! I would have loved some stars!
Needless to say, it was a learning experience.

I had all the fabric for this one because I had been collecting 1930's Reproduction fabric for a while but I had no real interest in the project. Then I started cutting the charm squares and drawing my sewing llines on the back of the charms and the whole thing just went together smoothly.

Thanks Carrie, for the best instructions a gal can have! 

The problem really popped up when I was putting the baskets together. Those little 1/2 square triangles can twist on you when you least expect it and then it's 'seam ripper, here I come'. 
I hate re-sewing. 
If you see any basket that might have a triangle pointing the wrong way... don't tell me! PLEASE! 

Anyway, I finally finished the piece and I'm happy with it, but I don't think I'll be revisiting baskets any time soon (maybe when I forget this traumatic experience!)

Onto the next Schnibble adventure!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November is here! It's a Birthday month!!!

Posted by Strlady at 10:18 AM 6 comments
Yup! It's my birthday. Come next Tuesday I will be a year older. I wish I could say wiser but no such luck. Another thing that November brings is less time... less time to work on pending projects and less time to get ready for Christmas. I love thinking about November in terms of Thanksgiving, Macy's holiday parade, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (we love re-watching the Thanksgiving episode) and Black Friday shopping but there is no forgetting that the month is also too close to Christmas for comfort.

So I have to start thinking of backup plans in case all the quilts I want to give as presents don't get completed. While I think about that...

This month I plan to tackle the November Schnibble which is called Picnic and will be my first venture into making baskets.

I decided to make this one out of repro fabrics which I had been collecting for a while
so it will be a bit of a stash buster.

I am also going to wrap up the Gobble Gobble top. I know I have been a bit vague on this one but there was not much to say. I'm using Sandy Gervais' Gobble Gobble print to make a Disappearing 9-patch quilt.

What is a disappearing 9 patch? It's a nine patch block that gets altered to the point that it no longer looks like a nine patch.

You start with a nine patch - which I made with 5" charms.

You then cut the sewn block twice across the center

Rotate two of the resulting squares and sew them back together.

The resulting block are charming.
I'm loving the blocks I've completed (10 so far) just 6 more to go and 
then I can add the sashing and it will be complete.

I'm using a similar layout that Rachel used on the table topper quilt she designed for the Moda Bake shop but I'm making it a bit larger so that it will be a lap size quilt.

Those are my two goals for the month. I would love to get some quilting on the Red White and Blue piece but I'll not commit to it since my future son in-law will be here for Thanksgiving and with guests coming around my weekends won't be too free.

BTW: I'm a bit excited about a couple of new patterns I picked up to add to my stash. I was lucky enough to win the Fit to Be Geese rulers Carrie from Miss Rosie's Co gave away last month. I love flying geese patterns but they always end up wonky but with the method used with these rulers they end up easy to make and precise in the piecing so I was loving that I won both sizes for these rulers! Of course I had my eye on one of Carrie's pattern (Opening Day) and picked it up as soon as I won the rulers. I also picked up a few other patterns that I was drooling over as well as the Tri Rec rulers that should make cutting Summer Rental a breeze (hopefully)

These will probably be projects for next year. 
Hey, it's never to early to increase that TBM (to be made) list!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treaters? What's that?

Posted by Strlady at 3:21 PM 2 comments
I admit I have been a bit on the snobbish side of Trick or Treating in the past years. I blame it on my daughter who picked up her bags and went off to college right after a traumatic Halloween experience. She didn't need to go off to college! The trick or treaters that did not get a treat in the last few years can blame it on her!!

Any way to recap... during her senior year my daughter got all dressed up and decided to have a last halloween horrah and invited her best friend / my quasi-daughter (she's almost my other baby), Lindsey to go trick or treating in the neighborhood. For severeal years Dre was in charge of the distribution of goods at the door during the craziness that is called Halloween. So that year, I was left to fend for myself.... what a disaster!

My small dog, Pepper who now resides at my sister's house would not let me open the door without her racing to 'welcome' the guests. It was quite a feat to open the door, keep Pepper in the house and give out the candy to the aproximately 200+ trick or treaters we typically get. It might not have been so bad if I just stood next to the door / locked the dog up / put the candy out, but I did none of that. By the time my daughter came home to categorize her loot, I was about to throw in the towel. Needless to say that was the last year my trick or treat light was on during halloween.

Fast forward 4 years later, I have moved from New England (where the door had to be closed since it was so freaking cold and the ToTrs had to ring the door bell) to Texas and my daughter has graduated college taking temporary residence back home. When halloween rolled around there was hemming and hawing over handing out candies. My younger sister was all gung ho and edging on the graduate. After some resistance on my part, it was decided that we would hand out treats this year and we went off to prepare for the event by buying candy we would not eat during the week that preceeded the day (what's the use of buying candy we liked if we woudl be compelled to eat it all before halloween? so we got stuff we woudl not eat).

Halloween rolled around and that sister that was instigating the graduate to rebellion picked up her bags and headed off to a party with her friends and I was left alone, hoping Dre would not be delayed at work and would be home before the rush of kiddies arrived.

Yes, she did arrive in time and we learned that in Texas you don't stay indoors waiting for the ToTrs but you pull out a lawn chair and sit in the front yard with your stash and a beer to see the parade of kiddies walk by. It's such a community event that we almost missed out on it. We had decorated our tree and turned on the light but no one was knocking at the door. When my daughter peeked out, our house was being ignored. She was a bit upset so she stood by the door and was calling the kids over. When the parade of kids noticed that our place was a legitimate stop we started getting the kiddies in droves. It was funny seeing her all dressed up with nowhere to go. She was determined to hand out the non-edible candy that was at our house!!

We handed out candy until 8:15 and then had dinner and watched Cujo (we needed a spooky movie that would not give nightmares). All in all, it was a fun Halloween and restored my faith in future halloween's potential.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wrapping up October

Posted by Strlady at 11:13 AM 3 comments
The month was a bit crazy but fun. Things are heating up at work with end of the year projects so I didn't get to complete everything on my initial list, but I did make a dent on my quilting and I got the chance to make a new top.

I finished baby quilts #2

And baby quilt #3

I also finished my October Schnibble

What I didn't get to was quilting the Red, White and Blue piece or finshed the Gooble Gooble quilt top. I also didn't get to quilt the Schnibble from September. :(

I guess, this will be something to move onto my November list.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baby Quilt #3 is out the door... well almost.

Posted by Strlady at 10:46 AM 2 comments
This one was an extra baby quilt I made as a backup / birthday present when my Little Boy Blue quilt turned out to be a bit too white. I posted about it in September and put it aside to quilt in October.

All The Little Horseys was finished earlier in October but I had not bound it. Wrapped this one up a few days ago and threw it in the wash yesterday. Don't you love the wrinkly look that first was gives the quilt?

On the white squares I put tacks of different themes. It has little cars, bunnies, frogs, horses, stars, etc.  Here's a closer look.

The back needed to be pieced since the fabric was a bit short and I needed to add a good 4 inches. I think that just a little something in the back will do wonders to hide a seam when you have to extend the back fabric.

Definitely loved how this quilt showcases Moda's Horsing Around fabric line and how EASY it came together. Kudos to Crazy Old Ladies for designing such a wonderful quilt. You can see their pattern here.

Now that all the baby quilts are done, just need to go and deliver them before the kids celebrate thier first birthday!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Quilt #2 Done!

Posted by Strlady at 10:34 AM 0 comments
Earlier this month I put the final stitches on Baby Quilt #2 - Little Boy Blue.

It turned out better than I could have imagined. I think I mentioned how I was not thrilled with the solid white and the whiteness of it. I had high hopes on the effectiveness of the quilting to give it the shadow needed to reduce the blaring white of the piece.

I think the binding in blue also helped give it a bit more character.

All in all, I am really happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone on this one. I will not be intimidated by solids anymore and will definitely use more of them in the future.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Festival Stash - yummy!

Posted by Strlady at 7:45 AM 0 comments
Part of going to the Houston IQF is the shopping - I would say the most important part if not for the beautiful quilts that can only be seen at the Festival.

With so many vendors it can be a bit overwhelming so I went with a plan.

I needed some of Sandy Gervais's new line Essence. I needed some of Sandy's Crazy Eight line for my October Schnibble project. Then I just wanted to pick up some pieces for a project I saw in an old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (my favorite quilting magazine).

I got everything I HAD to have and then some things I couldn't leave behind like three charm packs that could be used to make this beauty...

I also picked up two patterns, one from Fig Tree & Co that I fell in love with as soon as I saw the quilt that Sherri pieced for Market this year, and the other was for the "T for Texas" quilt I saw at one of the booths. This one will be a quilt I make for myself (a rare thing). You can catch a peek at the quilt on the Featival post about the booths.

I can't wait to dig into the projects I have planned.

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