Friday, February 27, 2009

A Quilt and More Dresses!

I finished my wall hanging...well, the top is finished...so it's ready to be quilted. This is seriously the quickest pattern for a wall hanging this size that I've ever made (finished size is 42 x 47). I spent less than 8 hours start to finish including cutting and doing the raw-edge machine applique'. The quilt is called "From the Heart" and is from the book Livin' Large by Heather Mulder Peterson. Heather also made a version she shares on her blog with the words "Live, Laugh, Love" in place of the "Faith, Hope, Love" on this quilt. Heather used 1974 for the sample in the book and uses her new fabric for the version she made for her kitchen. I can think of a lot of fabrics this quilt would be stunning in...and I love it in "Cotton Blossoms."


I loved putting these words on my quilt...actually I love words and quotes and classic books, so this was a great way to combine two of my passions.


I've also made a few more dresses this week...I have 12 completed with 18 to go! I still have buttons and bows to add to the dresses...and they are really fun to make.

Nanette's pattern for "All Dressed Up" also gives directions for making a baby quilt size...and I'm thinking about doing a four-dress mini-wall hanging for my grandmother's birthday.


The possibilities are really endless with this pattern!


I hope you all get to sew this weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Retreat Photos...And a Sneak Peak!

I have just a few more things to share from the retreat at Bryce Canyon...and then a little sneak peak of a project that is almost done! This is one of my favorite quilts from the Village Dry Goods trunk show. Four store employees shared their quilts with us...they gave a delightful presentation. I've never been to this shop...but I'll definitely be stopping by the next time I'm in northern Utah.

This was another quilt I found just wandering through some of the classrooms. When I got home I realized I had the pattern...it's called "Winter Botanical" by Barbara Brandeburg.

And another fun quilt...


Of course there were vendors at the retreat...and I had to do a little shopping. I bought the Masterpiece bobbin donut from Superior Threads to use for applique' projects...I realized I needed something like this while packing for the retreat...I didn't know what threads I'd be needing and didn't want to pack along my whole collection...this nifty product has come in handy several times already...saving me from running out to buy a spool of thread! I also found some teapot fabrics...hmmmm...I might have time to make a couple more things for my tea swap partner!


I also won a door prize during the retreat and received several fat quarters and fat eighths of green fabrics...great stash builders! And I finished the last four blocks of my "Golden Memories" quilt...I just need to get the borders done and then I'll share a photo.

And for a little sneak peak...I picked up a pattern at the retreat that I couldn't wait to make; after I returned home I started looking for fabric to order to make it...and then I realized I already had some perfect fabric! Those "Charming Jelly Cakes" by Moda sure do go a long way...I bought one in "Cotton Blossoms" a while back and have made two table runners and now this wallhanging...and I still have fabrics left! Here are just a couple of photos from the cutting board to nearly done...I'll share the completed quilt top at the end of the week!

And...I have a serious stack of Moda charm packs accumulating here...so I'm in the process of designing a little charm pack pattern to share with you...hopefully next week!
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quilt Retreat

Last week I got to spend a couple of days at the Bryce Canyon Quilt Retreat at Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon, Utah. The gorgeous scenery of Bryce Canyon National Park is just around the corner from the lodge where the retreat was held. There were over 240 participants with lots of classes, trunk shows, vendors, and quilting fun!

Of course one highlight of the conference for me was the opportunity to meet the amazing Nanette of Freda's Hive fame (I also got to meet Mr. Hive and Nanette's wonderful daughter Shelbie)! I was able to take Nanette's "All Dressed Up" class, visit with her, and attend her trunk show! Talking quilts (and life) with Nanette was a great blessing for me...her work is exquisite, and her creativity is inspiring! I learned Nanette's freezer paper applique' technique in class and became slightly addicted to making little dresses! Nanette's presentation Friday night was absolutely wonderful...you know how it is when you have the opportunity to listen to a wonderful speaker and artist and you just try to soak it all in...that's how it was...I just wish I had taken more notes!


Here is a photo of Dawn, Nanette, and me...it was at the end of a very long day...we all joked that we should have taken the picture the next morning after we'd had a bit of rest.

Here are some pictures of Nanette's quilts. I apologize for the quality of the photos...just before taking the pictures I accidentally changed a setting on my daughter's camera...and everything turned out quite dark...you cannot even imagine how gorgeous these quilts are in person!!! Nedra is another blogger who I was priviledged to meet at the retreat, and she has some great pictures of some of these quilts and others on her blog.



Even Nanette's scrap quilts were works of art...as each quilt was shown the entire room "oohed" and "aahed."


Not only did Nanette give a wonderful presentation, but she also had a wonderful handout for each participant...and each participant received a 6-inch charm square of vintage fabric from her stash! After the presentation I was able to sit down and browse through Nanette's wonderful collection of Japanese quilt books...that was a real treat as well!



Dawn and I received an extra special treat from Nanette...we popped in on her "In the Leafy Treetops" class Friday morning in order to purchase small kits to make wallhangings. Later in the afternoon she presented us with a large bag of ric rac and blue and green fabrics to share...enough to make two complete quilts! We had a wonderful time looking at each and every fabric; in the photo above is my share of her gift (many more fabrics are behind each piece in the picture)!

I finished five of the dresses for my quilt while up at the retreat; I purchased a kit of dress fabrics from Nanette and used fabrics from my stash to "snowball" the blocks. I can't wait to make more...I've got three more pinned and ready to stitch! These dress blocks are very meaningful to me because I have never felt like I made enough dresses for my daughters. When my girls were young I did a lot of sewing for wedding parties in order to help with our household finances, so I rarely sewed dresses for my girls; I plan on making my blocks into two wallhangings that I can someday give them. I do have more to share from the retreat, but I'll save it for another post!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Checkmarks on the List

Do you have a list...or several...of things to do, things to make, things to think about doing and making? I have been a list maker all of my life...and there is nothing like being able to mark things off! I've been a bit under the weather for about a week...so what to do but sew and mark things off the list.

I made a little bag that is shipping off today...a long overdue thank you for someone...I got my Noah's Ark blocks together...they fit!!! And, I prepared two more blocks for stitching on the "My Home or Yours" quilt.

I also completed block 9 of the Mystery Designer Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop...I love each of these blocks and can't believe there are only three more to go!


But my favorite finish this week was finishing Nanette's "Mixed Bag to Quilt." I won the pattern and kit from Terri at Purple & Paisley during her birthday giveaway. When it arrived I had a hard time beginning the project because I so just wanted to frame the vintage fabrics! After finishing the bag, I'm so glad I made it. It is such a great size...I've been making lots of smaller bags and really needed a larger one more than I realized. Thanks, Nanette for designing such a great pattern!


Here are photos of the front and back...I love both sides!


Oh, and I've been crossing things off my "Time for Tea" list as well...one more project to finish, and I'll be ready to wrap things up!



Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"My Home or Yours"

I've been working on my stitchery blocks from the pattern "My Home or Yours" by Lynette Anderson Designs. Here is the Tropical Home. Although we have lots of palm trees in southern Nevada, the weather is anything but tropical!


I also finished the Barn block. I've been wanting to make a farmhouse or barn quilt for a long time...this little block will have to do for now. My grandmother and her two surviving sisters have an 80-acre farm in Eastern Iowa that has been designated a "Century Farm," meaning it has been in the same family for over 100 years. About 12 years ago I was able to take a trip back and see this farm that my 3rd great-grandmother left to her grandchildren...it was just neat to stand on the ground that my ancestors made a life on.


Hope you get to sew today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Applique' and Stitchery

Block one of the Tisket a Tasket Block of the Month is now complete (except for the buttons on the vine which I'll add after quilting)! And I must say block one was as fun to make as block two! Also, Anne is offering some embroidery tips starting with this post!


About a week ago I was getting ready to go somewhere and went to grab a stitchery project to take with me...I didn't have any...so this week I've made it my goal to have several things ready to go. But as soon as I get one ready, I think, "Oh that will stitch up quickly," and I stitch it up! So I'm really no further along on my goal...but I do have a few little finishes!


I finished this little section from block 3 of my Leanne's House quilt...and peaking out from behind it is my first stitchery in the half-square triangle blocks...I'll reveal that one when it's complete.

I also finished these two free patterns from Gail Pan designs. The one on the right is block 2 of "A Christmas Wish," a block of the month Christmas pattern.
I feel like I'm getting a little caught up on my projects...but the sewing room is somehow in a bit of a mess...so I need to do some organizing before I start sewing again!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays are Perfect for Sewing!

Finally...I went to work on my "A Tisket a Tasket" block of the month quilt! When I saw February's pattern I had to make it first...I just love the little birds! I decided to use "Sweet" and "Swell" for my quilt after seeing this block. I had soo much fun putting this little block together...thanks so much to Anne of Bunny Hill Designs! And you can bet I'll be working on January's block today!

I also spent a little time this weekend finishing my one-inch finished half-square triangles...yes, they're all done (a big thank you to the triangle paper)! And now they've found homes in these blocks...12 of them. The centers will be for the stitcheries which I'll start tracing this week!

Well, it's a wonderful rainy Monday here in southern Nevada...so after some housework...I have lots of plans for sewing today! Hope you get to sew as well! And truly, my thoughts and prayers today go out for those of you in Australia.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Half-Square Triangles and other Things

All of my Noah's Ark stitchery blocks are now complete...they just need to be put together; each month I had a new favorite as the new design seemed to be cuter than the previous one...I love them all! Thanks Lynette, for the free patterns!

And, I'm starting a new stitchery project by Lynette Anderson Designs called Your Home or Mine.
The leader of our "Pink Ladies" stitchery group made a few design changes to the layout of this quilt requiring 288 half-square triangles that are one-inch finished...and yesterday I made 198 of them...only 90 to go! I'm using fabrics from "Collection For a Cause-Heritage," "Cotton Blossoms," "Portobello Market," and even some "Shangri-La."

A few new charm packs have come home with me lately..."Beach House," "Swanky," and "Aviary." Now the "Simplicity" charm pack I've had since that line came out and have never been able to use it (it's just too gorgeous)! I noticed that it coordinates perfectly with "Aviary" and now hope to use both of them in one quilt!


And finally...a finish by younger daughter...she completed her first rag quilt yesterday! She is always telling me she is not and will never be a quilter...but she really wanted to make this quilt and was pretty happy with her accomplishment. She even commented that she might make another quilt one day...!
Happy Sewing!



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another Whirlygiggle?

This is "State Fair"...a 32" square quilt from the Schnibbles pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. I love Schnibbles patterns...they are quick, fun, and always go together perfectly! In addition, there are always tips for precise piecing! I used charms from 3 different charm packs--Recess, Look & Learn, and Wee Play by American Jane for Moda...and had lots of charms left over as well! I didn't think I'd finish this so early in the week...but I was having so much fun I couldn't stop working on it!

One tool really helped in making this quilt. The picture on the left shows what the blocks look like before you square them up...and Carrie gives perfect directions for using the standard 6" or 6 1/2" ruler to square up this block...but I remembered Jodi's "Square it Up" tools...and knew it would make this quilt go together even faster!

Jodi's "Square it Up," in the perfect size for this quilt was wonderful! Now here is my question for the day...would you classify this as a whirlygiggles quilt or not?
Happy Sewing!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Busy

It has been a busy week...I've had to use small periods of time to get some sewing done. These are blocks from a project I hope to have finished this week. They're not whirlygiggles...I can't wait to show you this little quilt!

On Saturday I was up at 5:00 a.m. to get younger son on a bus for a basketball tournament--in a town over two hours away! Of course, by 7:00 a.m. I was on the road to watch. So with four hours in the car (round trip) and eleven hours in the gym (sitting on bleachers)...what was I to do...stitchery was my solution!
I nearly finished block 2 of "Leanne's House"--and there is a LOT of stitching in this block! All I have left is the hand applique' on one and a half hearts in the upper left hand corner...and a tiny bit of stitching in that same block!

Of course I couln't sew during the 3 games my son played in (and yes...we won the tournament and younger son was named to the all-tournament team)...but I was so grateful for my sewing!

I've recently received some blog awards...I'm very appreciative first to Mel who awarded me the Proximidade award. This is a Portugese award..."Proximidade" translated in English means "vicinity" or "neighborhood"...emphasizing that blogging brings us closer together.
I also received the Kreativ Blogger award from Anna and Vivian! All three of these women have amazing blogs that inspire me with each and every post...so I'm truly honored to have received these awards from them. As far as passing them on...I'm at a loss...I could pass each award to each and every blogger that I read (and there are over 300 of them--definitely need to take some time to update my sidebar)!
Hopefully this week will bring more sewing time...over the last 8 days I attended 7 of the 8 basketball games my younger son and daughter had...whew! Only three games this week!
Happy Sewing!