Friday, July 31, 2009

Be Back Next Week!

I can't wait...a few days of cool weather...family...food...and sewing! Be back next week!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do You Love Stacks of Quilts?

There is just something about a stack of quilts...as soon as a quilt is quilted--it seems I want to fold it, add it to a stack...and just look at it! So that was the first thing I did after receiving two of my quilts in the mail today...wonderfully quilted by Vivian! Actually, I looked at all of the stunning quilting and then started taking pictures!

My "Golden Memories Quilt"...

And my "Quilter's Journey" quilt are back home...I even stitched a label for "Quilter's Journey"...I'm trying to get better at that!



Vivian is an artist...the quilting is stunning...I love how she quilted all around my stitchery with fun designs!



And, yesterday Dawn and I went to Nedra's for lunch and a "sew" get-together! Nedra took us over to Superior Threads where we had a great time looking at all of the wonderful products (and of course, purchasing a few). Then it was back to Nedra's for chicken salad croissants, pasta salad, veggie chips, grapes, and brownies...everything was delicious! You might notice in the picture below there are two packages with bows near the place settings for Dawn and I. Nedra gave us each packages of "Texture Magic..." a wonderful new Superior Threads product. I can't wait to use it in a project or two or three!


After lunch we spent a few hours sewing in Nedra's spacious sewing studio...I worked on my modern 9-patches and some Halloween Cottage blocks (design by Nanette) for a wall-hanging. Dawn worked on her "In the Leafy TreeTops" quilt (also a Nanette design), and Nedra was making a great quilt for her daughter. Nedra had all of the blocks sewn quickly and was starting to put them up on her design wall before we left!

Oh...and head on over to Rachel's blog...the amazing Fat Quarter Shop (my favorite on-line quilt shop) donated a $50 gift certificate for her giveaway!


Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finishes and Gifts

My project to finish for the Charming Girls' Quilt Club for the month of July was "Your Home or Mine" by Lynette Anderson Designs. When I chose this project I wasn't worried about finishing, but within a week I was having doubts. I've done a lot of stitching over the last couple of weeks, and I finished the last block this morning and got it all put together.
It's kind of cloudy here today (yay...chance of rain!), so the pictures aren't turning out so well, but this close up of the Beehive Home shows the Portabello Market fabric at the botton that I decided on for the border. I never intended to use this fabric for a border, but it picked up the colors and the threads in the stitchery blocks perfectly, so on it went. It's funny how that happens sometimes in quilting--it's always a lot of fun when the fabrics surprise you.

Thanks so much Kelly for starting the Charming Girls' Quilt Club and motivating me to finish this project a lot earlier than I thought I would! I'm definitely going to start brainstorming about which "work in progress" to choose for my August goal.


Yes, here is another of Nanette's Mixed Bag to Quilt bags! I made this one for my Mom--it was a belated Mother's Day Gift...I had her pick out the fabric when she was here in June, and I took it up to her last weekend. This versatile pattern makes up wonderfully in any style of fabrics--traditional or modern...I've got a couple more planned when the new fabrics come out!


This fun fabric and candy arrived in the mail from Jessie. She recently took a trip to New York and offered a prize for the first person to guess her first stop. I guessed the place I'd love to go first...Purl Soho...and she sent me these little treats! Thanks Jessie!


This week a wonderful gift came from my friend Dawn. Dawn is one of those people who is great at gift-giving...she always comes up with the perfect present. This adorable bag is an iron tote! I'm sure Dawn was inspired to make this after our last quilt retreat trip...my iron seemed to be the hardest thing to pack! Inside the bag are two pockets--one for the Best Press, and one for distilled water. The cardboard insert for the bottom is even covered in heat-resistant fabric...this will be perfect for toting my iron to quilting retreats and classes--thanks Dawn!
Well, I'm off to clean the sewing room (I think I say that a lot...but it gets messy so fast)! Then I'll be ready to start something new...a finish always means you can start a new project, right?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Grandmother's Quilts Part 2

When I started taking photos of my Grandmother's quilts last weekend, my main intention was to photograph her older quilts, the ones worked on by her grandmothers and mother, and the generational quilts. But my grandmother also wanted to share her thoughts with me on some of the favorites she has made. First she brought out her Sunbonnet Sue quilt; Grandma loves Sunbonnet Sue, and I feel sort of guilty for giving her a hard time about them before I appreciated their charm! Who knows, I might even make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt one day in honor of my Grandmother!


The top left block in this collage has some cross-stitch flowers and my name stitched by me, but my grandmother actually applique'd the Sunbonnet Sue. These are some of my other favorites--my mom cross-stitched the chicken and milk jug on her Sue block...and I love the flowers embroidered by one of Grandma's friends.


This is the Christmas quilt that started my love of obsession with Christmas quilts...what I didn't realize until this weekend was that my grandmother hand pieced all of these blocks! One of Grandma's fond memories is deciding the layout of the blocks in this quilt with help from my Grandfather.

This next quilt is not only one of my grandmother's favorites, but one of mine as well. My family has a rich heritage of farming in Iowa that continues to this day, and this quilt is titled Down on the Farm in Iowa. My grandmother made it in 1996 for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Iowa's statehood. I know that my Great Aunt Joan also made this quilt--and that the two sisters had a good time working on this quilt at the same time, my grandmother quilting in Nevada and her sister quilting in Iowa.



My grandmother is very good at making labels for her quilts, and this one has an embroidered label as well as one with the logo from the 150th celebration year.


This last quilt has always been known as grandma's Bow Tie quilt. My grandfather always wore bow ties...I don't ever recall him wearing any other. He often wore brown as well. My grandmother made this quilt for and in honor of him, but sadly she didn't finish it before he passed away. But Grandma accomplished her purpose in making this quilt--I never walk in and see it on the wall without thinking of my Grandfather.

All of the quilts in this post were handquilted by my Grandmother. To my knowledge she has only had one quilt ever quilted by a long-arm quilter--and that was rather recently. In my next post I'll have some finishes to share! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Grandmother's Quilts Part 1



I just returned this evening from a quick, 3-day trip to visit my Mom and Grandmother. I was also able to visit with my brother who lives in China and who was home for a month this summer doing work for his doctoral program. Have you ever heard of the Extraterrestrial Highway? I have to travel this desolate, 98-mile stretch of road to get to my Mom's. Coming home tonight we only saw one car, but we did see two antelope, two deer (and no spaceships)!

I was really looking forward to taking photographs of some of my grandmother's quilts...quilts I've known and loved but haven't ever had pictures of. I was also able to have my grandmother put several things in writing about her memories of quilting and these quilts...so I came home with a real treasure in pictures and words. The quilt above was pieced by my great-grandmother, Virginia Lee Fitzgarrald; my grandmother paid someone to quilt this quilt (before she became a quilter herself). It is the only quilt we have that my great-grandmother worked on.

This quilt is my grandmother's Bear Paw quilt made by her maternal grandmother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald. My grandmother told me that to this day when she looks at this quilt she pictures her Grandmother Fitzgarrald wearing the dresses and aprons made from the fabrics in this quilt.



I've previously shared my three Dresden Plate blocks made by my great-great Grandma Fitzgarrald, and here is the quilt my grandmother put together from the other blocks (mine were left over from this project). My grandmother hand-quilted this wonderful treasure fairly early in her quilting days.




The quilt below is lovingly referred to in our family as the Lily Quilt. It was made by my grandmother's paternal grandmother, Mary Gilchrist Bice. Grandma Bice asked my grandmother to pick out a quilt pattern, and this is the one she chose. The fabrics were all purchased at the dry-goods store in Walker, Iowa in the mid-1930's. Grandma Bice hand-quilted this quilt and gave it to my grandmother when she was married. (The Bear Paw quilt was also presented to my grandmother at her wedding). Today, my grandmother brings this quilt out only at Christmas time.




I have many more pictures to share, but I'll save them for future posts. I'm grateful for the quilting legacy left to me by my grandmother and her grandmothers! Now that I'm home, I'll be catching up on blogs, e-mails, and quilting!
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blocks, Blocks, Blocks...


The second block came for the 2009 Designer Mystery Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop. Again, another stunning block!


I'm having fun using my stash to make a second set of blocks. It doesn't seem to take any extra time to cut and sew another block...and it's going to be great to have two quilts finished next May!

I've been stitching away, too...only four blocks left to stitch (although they might just be the ones that will take the most time)! I really want to finish this quilt soon--not only because it's my challenge project for the Charming Girls' Quilt Club for July but also because I have about five other projects I'm ready to start! Hope you have a wonderful day...and that you get to sew today!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christmas in July

Yes, it's July, and Christmas has arrived here in southern Nevada. I'm particiapating in the Christmas in July swap hosted by Linda and Stephanie, and yesterday my package arrived from Nichi in Italy!

Now, I don't know how Nichi knew...but I have been admiring Matryoshka dolls all over blogland...in doll form and on fabrics...and I've really been wanting some. I'm pretty sure I've never mentioned this to anyone...and so you can imagine my delight when I opened the package to reveal two of the most beautiful dolls I've ever seen. I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw the beautiful birds...another thing I admired on so many blogs at Christmas last year! I can't wait to find the perfect way to display these...all year round! And Nichi also sent a beautiful stocking...with yo-yo's...another of my favorite things...and the red fabrics are my favorite shade of red!

Nichi also sent along three gorgeous half-yard pieces of Alhambra by Art Gallery Quilts. These are beautiful fabrics also in wonderful colors I love! I feel very spoiled, and very grateful...thanks so much Nichi!
Well, I'm off to finish my Christmas in July things so that I can wrap them and mail tomorrow!
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winners...And Some Other Things...

First...I guess you probably want to know the winners from my giveaway...it sure took a long time to tally everything up; I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon beginning the tally and then didn't have time to finish everything up until this afternoon. There ended up being 688 entries after I tallied all of the extra points for adding the blog button and being a follower. I also visited every blog...and that was a lot of fun! If the winners would please e-mail me your mailing addresses and which prize you'd like (the first place winner can send one choice, the second should send two choices, the third three and so on...hopefully that will save a lot of e-mailing so I can get everything out sooner. Oh, so here they are...... first was Jane followed by Lisa, Kritta 22, Julia, and Carol...congratulations ladies...Random Generator picked your numbers!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks at two things going in the mail this week...across the pond as they say for the Christmas in July swap!

I made a Sweet Treat bag for myself....I'd made several for others, including one for the giveawy and was really wanting one myself! I used some of my favorite Patisserie honey bun strips!

And I'm working hard on my stitchery...I really want to finish my challenge for July for the Charming Girls' Quilt club...I finished the windmill home and started and finished the Birdhouse and the Beehive home!



Hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Charming Girls' Quilt Club

I've joined the Charming Girls Quilt Club hosted by Kelly...hoping it will motivate me to get some of my works in progress finished. My project for July is to finish my Your Home or Mine block of the month by Lynette Anderson Designs. I started this quilt in January and have lately been really motivated to finish (could it be that my Christmas "to-do" list is promtping me to finish some other things)?

There are 13 pieced blocks with a heart stitchery in the middle...those are finished. There are also 12 stitchery blocks, each with a different home and half-square triangles around the border. I've completed 4 of these...

And the other 8 are in various stages of completion. One is nearly done, five are traced and ready to stitch, and two need to be traced and assembled. So there it is...I will finish this quilt top by the end of July! Wish me luck...I think I might need it!


Getting There

I've made some progress this week on a lot of little projects...I love the new Tisket a Tasket free Block of the Month from Anne. I still need to get some wool so I can add the lamb and the little flag--I was going to do the lamb in the cutest white polka dot cotton, but my basket showed through, so wool it will be.

I also finally cut into my French General fabric. I've had the hardest time deciding what to do with it. Anne, Brenda, Camille, Carrie and Lynette have all mentioned on their blogs that they are designing with it now...so I'm kind of waiting to see what they do. Also, yesterday Lissa shared a gorgeous quilt she made with this fabric that will be in an upcoming issues of McCall's Quilting. While I'm not sure yet about everything I'm going to make with French General, I am making a small wallhanging with some stitchery for a special gift, and this house block will be part of it, The pattern for the house is from "My Cotswold Cottages" found in the book Houses by Joanna Figueroa and Lisa Quan.


Oh, and here is the final gift for my giveaway. I was going to make a couple more small things, but yesterday I decided to make another one of these bags (Mixed Bag to Quilt...pattern by Nanette). I just need to get a button to cover, and it will be finished. This is a great bag to have...I've made 5 now, almost 6--and it's a terrific size (12 inches tall and 16 inches wide). I'll take comments through Saturday...hopefully I can get everything tallied up and ready for Random Generator by Monday morning! Thanks for all the wonderful comments...I'm really trying to respond to every person!
Oh, and did you read Camille's post on three things? On my list of three for today is vacuuming, mopping, and finishing up my Christmas in July swap! Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blogiversary Day Two!


Thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments and blogiversary wishes! It's also been fun to get more followers! I just thought I'd add a couple more prizes today. First, I'm adding 5 fat quarters of Just Dreamy by Riley Blake. And, I've just finished a Sweet Treat Bag which is a great free pattern on the Moda website that uses only ten Honey Bun strips. It's about 8 inches tall and 10 inches wide...perfect for storing sewing supplies, small projects, make-up, or even baby items. I made it out of Wonderland by Moda...and even added a covered button and Velcro closure.

(If you're just stopping by for the first time today...the "way to play" in this give-away is on my previous post). I'll be back at the end of the week with a couple more prizes...and then I'll announce the winners on Monday the 13th! Have a great day!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My First Quilt (and Giveaway Day 1)!

Camille and Carrie had a terrific idea that they both recently posted...blog about your first quilt and your most recent quilt! I thought that it would be a lot of fun to play along! Above is actually my fourth quilt...but the first three were made for my three oldest children from exactly the same pattern, the Double Irish Chain from Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day series. I tied the first three, and they were greatly loved, carried around, taken on trips, and even used to build forts. They're all pretty much in shreds right now...stored away so they wouldn't completely fall apart. After making the first three (they were all twin-sized), I thought I deserved one and made this lap sized quilt. My grandmother did the hand-quilting on it for me which was appropriate since she is the one who started me on this wonderful quilting journey! I wish I could remember how many quilts I made from this pattern...over a dozen...it was the only pattern I ventured to try for the first year or two! While I'll always give credit to Eleanor Burns for giving me the confidence to continue quilting, thankfully I've learned since then that there is a world of wonderful patterns out there!

I've finished several quilt tops recently that I've shared here, but I will count my 2008 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month quilt as my most recent, since it is the last one to be quilted! I really, really love this quilt and can't wait to use it this Christmas!

Today I was able to visit The Christmas Goose for our Pink Ladies sewing day...and look at these Fig & Plum goodies I was able to get! I have a project in mind, combining them with some other Fig & Plum fabrics from my stash. I'm hoping these (along with finishing up some works in progress) will keep me busy until Simple Abundance comes out!


And now for the blogiversary stuff! I thought it would be fun to have a blog button to celebrate, and my friend Lauren came up with exactly what I had in mind! You can grab the button and the code from my sidebar...and if you do it will give you 3 extra entries in my blogiversary giveaway! Today is day one, and I have two items for the giving...(they are two things I've made a lot of in the past year)! First I have a little zipper bag made from Wonderland by Moda, and second I have a Heather Mulder Peterson Cross Roads Table Runner made using Nature's Chorus by Moda!


I'll be adding more prizes as the week goes on, and when I draw the winners at the end of the week the first number drawn can choose a prize, then the second person can choose from what's left, and so on!!! You can comment on each blogiversary post for one point, add a point if you are or become a follower, and add three points if you put my blog button on your sidebar. Just let me know in one of your comments if you are a follower and/or have the button on your blog. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful blogiversary wishes...it's going to be a fun week!