Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sweet Celebrations Blog Tour




Tomorrow, October 1st, is the kick-off for the Moda Sweet Celebrations Blog Tour! There are lots of stops with a lot of fun along the way including...giveaways!


Here is the schedule:

Celebrate! Introduction
October 1 - Stash Books and Moda Cutting Table

Celebrate…

October 2 – (Valentines) Melissa Mortenson and (Birthdays) Melissa Corry


October 3 – (Spring/Easter) Mary Lane Brown and (Baby) Natalia Bonner


October 4 – (Any Occasion) Lissa Alexander and (Wedding) Corey Yoder


October 5 – (Masculine/Father’s Day) Jane Davidson and (Graduation) Angela Yosten


October 6 – (Patriotic) Jo & Kelli Kramer and (Family/Fireworks) Stefanie Roman


October 7 – (Summer) Sherri McConnell and (Birthdays) Megan Jimenz & Heather Andrus


October 8 – (Fall/Labor Day) Angela Mitchell and (Back to School) Ellie Roberts


October 9 – (Halloween) Katie Blakesley and (Kids) Aneela Hoey


October 10 – (Fall/Thanksgiving) Amy Smart and (Winter/Christmas) Angela Pingel


October 11 – (Winter/Christmas) Vanessa Christenson and (Winter/Hanukkah) April Rosenthal


October 12 – Moda Bake Shop


October 14 – Readers have until midnight on the 14th to comment on all the blogs for the giveaways.



 
 
I will see you on October 7th!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Farming, Quilting, and Family




Wednesday night I finished setting together the blocks for my Farmer's Wife quilt. Honestly, I  just wasn't prepared for the emotions I felt as I was sewing the final seams. My first Farmer's Wife post (here) was June 8, 2011, so this quilt took nearly 16 months to get to this stage.



I loved making this quilt...more than I think I can express with simple words. It's not perfect, but it is complete. And I learned. And I loved this journey. And I am going to use this quilt! I can't wait!



My quilt actually looks a little different than this now. I had to take off the bottom row, separate the blocks, and add them all to the right side of the quilt so it will work for a king-sized bed (I did that Thursday afternoon after taking the photos). All I have left to do is pick out border and binding fabrics and try to find 10 yards of Fig Tree fabric on sale for the backing!

One of the reasons this quilt is so near and dear to my heart is that I actually do come from a long line of farmer's wives. As a girl, I grew up hearing my Mom tell of the wonderful days of her youth spent in Iowa surrounded by grandparents and family and farms.



This is my maternal great-grandmother, Virginia Lee Fitzgarrald Bice (photo taken on her wedding day). She was a farmer's wife; my great-grandfather raised Brown Swiss dairy cows. I remember visiting their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a young girl. My great-grandmother was the first person to teach me how to do dishes. I still remember how grown-up I felt standing on a stool next to her in her kitchen as she told me how important it was to clean and rinse the dishes well. I have her sewing machine and one of her quilts in my home today and am reminded of her every time I walk into my family room.



And this is her mother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald (all of my Mayflower ancestors come through her lineage). Emma, my great-great grandmother, was also a farmer's wife. She made many, many quilts. Much of the fabric she used in her quilts was paid for with her "egg-money" and picked out by her husband from the Dry Goods store when he went to town each week. I happen to have several of her quilts in my home now that are on loan from my Grandmother. Emma made many of the same types of quilts that I appreciate and also left dozens of beautiful Dresden plate blocks that have since been made into lovely generational quilts.



And finally, this is my other maternal great-great grandmother (my grandmother's father's mother), Mary Gilchrist Bice. Mary was a farmer's wife and was also a prolific quilter. Not only do we have her quilts in our family today, but we also have some of her journals which occasionally mention her quilts!

Thanks so much for coming along with me on my Farmer's Wife journey! I so appreciate all of the encouragement and comments along the way! I'll be sure to share again after this quilt is quilted and bound.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Worktable




Well, this is a "works in progress" week, and I'm happy to say I am making some progress! First I finished my last blocks for the Blogger's Block of the Month quilt! Sarah's block is so cute! I can't wait for next month when Jackie will show us her setting for the blocks!



I was also able to set together my Bee's Knees Bee blocks...I'm so happy with this quilt. I love each and every block! I've ordered backing fabric and hope to get it really finished soon!
 
 

I received 14 blocks from my Bee friends and added two of my own...a big chunky star...


 And a whimsical half-square triangle block (kind of my tribute to all of the hst's I've made lately)!





 And...my Fig Tree Farmer's Wife is almost there...this photo was taken last night with my phone. The blocks are all sewn into rows now, and by tonight they will be a quilt! I'll definitely get a good picture of this tomorrow when the lighting is good. This might be my favorite quilt ever...I love how all the Fig Tree lines just play off one another...and I just love the thought of having this in my room this winter!


 Thanks so much for stopping by!




Monday, September 24, 2012

This Week's "To Do's"




Hello and happy Monday! So...I've really been wanting to start a new quilt...but I promised myself I'd get at least two quilt tops pieced together this week before starting. First, I'm finally going to put my Fig Tree Farmer's Wife quilt together.  I finished sashing all the blocks on Saturday evening (it took a little longer than I thought mostly because I used my sashing fabric to make another quilt and had to order more for this one). I am going to move some furniture around in my living/dining area so I have room to lay out all 111 blocks and decide where I want everything. Then, hopefully I can keep the family out of that part of the house for a couple of days while I get them put together.



And, all of my Bee's Knees quilt blocks have arrived, so I'm going to get that quilt top put together, too. I'll be taking over the guest room for this one! Sorry, family...there are going to be quilt blocks and pieces everywhere this week!



I just need to make two blocks (I received 14 blocks and  planned for a 16 block quilt) and then I can get started on this one.



One of my quilts from last spring arrived home the other day, too. I'm not sure if I shared this before or not, but this is my Oh My Stars quilt that I sewed as a sample for The Fat Quarter Shop last spring (pattern by It's Sew Emma). This quilt got to go to spring market as well!



The fabric is Independence Trail by Minick & Simpson...really a gorgeous line!




It's good to have this quilt come home...this is one of those quilts that was practically out the door the second I finished the binding, so I've missed it!

Okay...so that's all for now...hopefully I'll have those quilt stack photos (it's been kind of cloudy, so I'm waiting for a sunny day to take the pictures) and a couple of quilt tops very soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

PS Congratulations to Carol who won theSpringtime in the Rockies quilt book from my stop on the blog tour last week!



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Autumn




Something wonderful is in the air...autumn has arrived in my little corner of the world. And just knowing that a new season is really here seems to make all the difference. While the daytime temperatures haven't improved much, the evenings are beginning to be beautiful, and the mornings are crisp and cool and in the mid-sixty degree range. Anna Maria wrote in a recent post about the "comfort of change," and I, too, appreciate that special something that has arrived with the change of the season!

I've worked on a few things this week and have a combination of camera and Instagram photos to show for it! One evening I stitched some of my hexagon flowers together; it's such a relaxing project. I'm going to need to make some white hexagons soon so I can start stitching them together.



I also have the binding machine stitched and ready to hand sew on my Farmer's Wife Christmas quilt. I don't often use white for binding, but it seemed the perfect "frame" for this quilt.



And this morning Lori posted row 3 of her row along...a few days early! So my first project of the day was to make my row.


If you're rowing along, you know that the rows are fairly long, so it's a bit of a challenge to get all the parts and pieces in one picture.


Row 3 is another small filler row...just 2 1/2" wide.




And here are all three rows together...

I've already hung my fall wreath on the front door and plan to switch out my quilts this afternoon as well...hopefully I'll have some fun pictures of stacks of quilts to share next time (the spring/summer ones to be put away and the fall quilts that will leave the cupboards and closets and grace our home for the next few months).

Thanks so much for stopping by...and Happy Autumn!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

SpringTime in the Rockies Blog Tour




 Good morning and welcome to my stop on the Springtime in the Rockies Blog Tour! My friend Konda has put together a group of "Rocky Mountain" quilts by Rocky Mountain quilters!





I have a copy of the book, and the projects are wonderful...there are some beautiful photographs of the west included as well!


Be sure to stop by each blog listed below--you have a chance to win a copy of the book from each blog!

Sept 19 - Kansas City Star http://www.pickledish.com/

Sept 20 - Amy Smart http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/

Sherri McConnell (Me!)

Sept 21 - April Mazzoleni http://aprilmaedesigns.com/

Maggie Barber http://shortcookie.blogspot.com

Sept 22 - Becky Morganson http://stitchesandsewforth.blogspot.com/

Marion McClellan http://myquiltdiet.blogspot.com/

Sept 23 - Emily Herrick http://crazyoldladiesquilts.blogspot.com/

Kathy Miller http://makingitfun.blogspot.com/

Sept 24 - Karlene Riggs http://karleneskreation.blogspot.com/

JoyLyn Rigby http://broadbentquiltshop.blogspot.com/

Sept 25 - Margie Ullery http://www.ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com/

Shannon White http://itssewshannon.blogspot.com/

Sept 26 - Machelle Preston http://cherrytreecottagequilts.blogspot.com/

Kim Walus http://bittybitsandpieces.blogspot.com/

Sept 27 - Konda Luckau http://moosequilts.blogspot.com

Jenifer Dick http://www.42quilts.com/




So...to be entered to win a copy here, just leave a comment on this post about your favorite fall tradition (since fall will arrive here in the Northern hemisphere on Saturday). Thanks so much, and good luck!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fun!



Over the past few days I've done a lot of yardwork, a little housework, and minimal sewing. So I decided to try to start and finish something fun after dinner last night! I've been wanting a "fallish" wallhanging to hang in my front entryway (after all, fall will officially be here Saturday even if the thermometer doesn't agree), and Joanna's Sparkle pattern seemed to be the perfect project.


The pattern finishes up about 36 x 36 and uses just one charm pack and 1 1/4 yards of background. I didn't have a charm pack, but I did have some Tapestry scraps I combined with a few pieces of Mill House Inn and Pattisserie.


This was a fast and fun project--definitely instant gratification. It's fun to see the star come together quickly, and the pieced border is the perfect pop of color around the edges. I think this would make a fun Christmas gift in Christmas fabrics--the recipient could use it for a table topper or wall hanging.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Planning




Planning is one of my favorite aspects of the entire quilting process. Sometimes it's wonderfully refreshing to sew without a plan and see where you end up, but planning and sketching and even dreaming about how a project might develop are inspiring activities too!

For quite a while I've been basting my hexagons without a real plan for finishing. While doing some studio cleaning this weekend I found a yellow polka dot fabric that just seemed to be the perfect center for my hexagon flowers. I stitched the aqua flower and then had to "audition" a few others.


 
So this is where I'm going...scrappy "same color" flowers all with yellow polka dot centers. Eventually I'll join them with white hexagons. I'm hoping this will be a lap sized quilt, so I'll definitely be basting more hexagons while starting to put the individual flowers together. I'm happy with this plan--and as I've been cleaning I've come up with some other plans, too!
 
What are your favorite ways to plan projects...it's always so fun to hear what others are doing!
 
Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rowing




Well...I've found a project to keep my mind off the Farmer's Wife quilting that I've been missing...Lori's amazing row-along! This is just week 2, so it's definitely not too late to join in! I'm using scraps from 3 Bonnie & Camille lines for my quilt...Ruby, Vintage Modern, and Marmalade.




I've actually been wanting to make some butterfly blocks for quite a while now, so I was so excited to see this pattern!




Lori's directions are fantastic, as always, and she has sashing on the ends of each row that will make it easy to stitch up your rows to the correct size!

Okay...now that I'm finished I have nearly 2 weeks to wait for row 3...I wish we could convince Lori to  make this a weekly row-along!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Worktable




Just a few things I've been working on this week...first of all, I couldn't stop working on the hexies...I finished every one I'd prepared!


And then I finished a few more!


I've really filled up my storage box, so now I need to decide if I should start piecing hexie flowers...or buy a bigger box!

 
 
I have a couple of quilts to bind in the next couple of days...first my Christmas Farmer's Wife quilt...
 
(Instagrammed Photo)
 
And another Christmas quilt that I can't share just yet.
 
With all of my recent "works-in-progress" finishes over the last few weeks I'm itching to start a new project...soon!
 
Thanks so much for stopping by!