Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bee Blocks and Paper Piecing



I'd fallen a little behind with my Bee blocks and decided I just wasn't going to start Christmas gifts until I caught up. First I made April's block (from October). I absolutely love this block (you can find the tutorial at Six White Horses here). Now I need to let you know I'm not a big fan of paper piecing (I thought about naming this post something like "Paper Piecing: My Mortal Enemy" or "Paper Piecing: A Necessary Evil." I do love paper piecing results though, and I love this block. I'll definitely be making one for me...maybe just one for a pillow, though!



I also need to show my first run at the block...you see I forgot that the star points were surrounded by background fabric and just kept using the cute prints April sent. When I got to this point I realized something was wrong...and started over. But this block is kind of cute, too...wonder what I can do with it?


April asked us to add something in, so I added some aquas including my favorite Denyse Schmidt print!



When I work on paper piecing I always keep a small cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter right next to my machine so I can trim as I go.


I also can't imagine doing paper piecing without these two tools. The green tool is the "Add an eighth" ruler (they also make an  "add a quarter" ruler). I prefer the 1/8" ruler because it eliminates most all of the bulkiness from your paper piecing. There is a little ledge on the ruler which allows you to trim your paper piecing seams leaving just a small seam allowance.


I also love this Clover pressing tool for my paper piecing. It allows you to do a good press without having to use an iron. It really comes in handy.



While I was paper piecing I decided to make Emily's November block as well...a paper pieced Dresden. Emily sent several pieces of fabric from one color family to all Bee participants. We were asked to use every print she sent and add in a few of our own. I found out that I really don't have very many pale yellows in my stash--in fact I was just able to add in a couple from one of the Sweetwater collections.

Just wondering if there is anyone out ther who absolutely loves paper piecing...and if so...is there some secret to it?

One more question...I really, really  want to buy a quilt ladder but will need to find a place that ships as I can't find any locally. Has anyone ordered a quilt ladder on-line that you're super happy with?

Well...it's on to the Christmas gifts now!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moda Bella Solids



I love Moda Bella solids...Moda Bella Bleached White 9900-97 is my "go to" background...I buy it by the bolt, and let me tell you, I start getting a little nervous when it starts to get low!



I also love Moda Bella Snow for all of my Fig Tree sewing...it works with every collection Joanna has designed! But there are a lot more colors than just white and snow...


I just had to order some of the new Warm and Bright fat quarters the other day (just doing my part to support business...plus I had a coupon code that saved me 25% from Fat Quarter Shop)!

And...I wrote a guest post today on Moda's The Cutting Table blog...I'm sharing one of my favorite Moda Bella tips over there today.

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to Sewing!




Yesterday I got back in the sewing room after a Thanksgiving break.  I need to start some serious gift sewing...but first I wanted to finish up the last-minute project I started last week. First up is the last block I made...I think it's my favorite! There is just something about those sideways zig-zags!


I had so much fun sewing Camille's "Vintage Holiday" pattern using Aneela's Cherry Christmas fabrics...I just wonder why I didn't make it sooner! (The block above is another favorite...maybe it's the red and aqua combination?)!


Each ornament block goes together quickly, it's easily a Saturday project if you have everything cut out!


Although I probably shouldn't have waited until just a few weeks before Christmas to start another Christmas quilt, this is one of those projects that is just fun...no stress!



It's the perfect project for sewing along with some Christmas music!


I've started setting the rows together and can't wait for backing fabric to arrive so I can get this quilted up!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wonderful...



Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful! We had all of our children home, had 8 house-guests, and also had almost every member of our extended family on my husband's side at our home for the big dinner.



We ate, laughed, talked, reminisced, went to the movies, and even took a couple of good walks. It was sad seeing everyone go...it was just so much fun! There is always a little let-down after an event that takes so much planning and energy, but Christmas is just around the corner, and I'm so looking forward to decorating and sewing some things for family and friends.




I have Christmas quilts, pillows, and runners in a couple of different colorways. This morning I pulled out everything "bright." I also have a pretty good collection of more traditional Christmas decor that I'll pull together tomorrow.





Christmas quilts, Christmas songs on Pandora...it really is a wonderful time of the year. I'm so thankful for this fall season with such beautiful weather and gentle reminders to think about those things I'm grateful for. I've had fun doing gratitude entries in my "One Line a Day" journal this month.





Oh, and I almost forgot...we did a few family pictures...just some casual shots, but I was so excited to get them because it's been so hard to get everyone together over the past year with everyone's work and school schedules! Here's the husband and I...




And here are my four kids...left to right--youngest to oldest. They're not all happy with this photo, but I love it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just a Whim




Happy Wednesday! I've been slowly but steadily working on my hexagon stocking and have all but the last row attached. And while I should probably be limiting my sewing time right now...



For some reason I decided to start a new quilt. On a whim. Last night. When I should have been cleaning or starting food preparation for the big meal tomorrow. I've been wanting to make Camille's "Vintage Holiday" quilt for a long time now, and it occurred to me last evening that I might be able to make it with my Sew Cherry scraps. So off I went, gathering fabrics and cutting blocks.



At first I was just going to make one block, you know, to see how it went. But it went fast so I decided to make three.


 
And then I decided to make four more. Okay...well everything quilt related is put away now (except for the hexies which are in a basket in the family room for whenever I get a minute to sit down)! I'll be doing everything today I probably should have done yesterday! I'm looking forward to family arriving this evening and to the big meal tomorrow.
 
Thanks so much for stopping by...Happy Thanksgiving if you are here in the U.S.! And Happy Wednesday to everyone!
 


Monday, November 19, 2012

End of an Era



A lot has been going on this week (cleaning, mostly, in anticipation of Thanksgiving which will soon bring 7 house guests and about 25 for dinner); however, I have managed to sneak in a little sewing which I will be sharing soon. But first, I hope you'll entertain a little digression. I try to keep this primarily a quilting blog...but sometimes something in life is a little overwhelming...and you just feel the need to write about it! The little guy in the photo above is my youngest, and the photo was taken several years ago after he decided he wanted to wear his big brother's uniform...because, you see, even at a young age this little guy loved football. With. All. His. Heart.


He's had a pretty impressive high school career earning regional and state awards along with 15 touchdowns his junior year.



His senior year has been a lot of fun and has included more awards and 20 touchdowns. He's had a great time! It's been fun to be his mom as they racked up a 12-1 record and headed to the State Championship game on Saturday night.





It was a beautiful Las Vegas evening, we had an amazing crowd, and the team was prepared; sometimes, though, giving it all you have isn't good enough, and the win that was supposed to be...wasn't. In the end, though, he handled the loss with grace and dignity just as any true champion would. It's a blessing to be the Mom of such a quality young man, and while I'll miss the football games...I'm grateful for the memories!


Thanks so much for stopping by...have a wonderful day!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Working on Wednesday



Just checking in...I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving! And I can't believe 20+ people will be having dinner here that day! There is so much to do over the next few days! So I'm trying to sew even just a little every day to keep my sanity!

I'm hoping to finish up this hexie-pieced Christmas stocking...I basted the hexies last Christmas and just never got it finished. The rest of the rows have 6-7 hexies in each, so I'm trying for one row a day until completion!


And, I absolutely could not stand it anymore, so I opened my Moda Candy pack of Glamping this morning! The fabrics are fun! I love the chunky ginghams and the retro florals. The dots are cute, and the vintage trailers are so fun!

This was kind of big for me, because it's really hard to tear open the Moda candy...they are so cute just as they are!

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


Monday, November 12, 2012

Quilts from Festival




On my last day at International Quilt Market I was able to spend a couple of hours looking at the Quilt Festival quilts. I was really excited to be able to view a show of this kind--I don't think I'd ever seen so many amazing quilts in one place. Carrie had mentioned to me that during market was an ideal time to view these quilts as the aisles would be nearly empty. She was right, and I'm so grateful I was able to have the experience of viewing the amazing show.


While I could have taken pictures of every single quilt in the exhibit, I found it interesting that the quilts I photographed seemed to be mostly ones with bright colors. Regardless of whether the design was traditional or modern, my eyes were drawn to color. The quilt above was pieced by Lee Heinrich, whose blog I follow. I'd seen her "Supernova" quilt on her blog and was drawn to it from across the room.


 I also loved this quilt by Emily Cier...just gorgeous!



At first I thought I'd get pictures of the description of every quilt I photographed; however, the lighting wasn't great, and I couldn't read many of the descriptions when I went back to try and identify the quilts. I loved the modern simplicity of this quilt, and again, I loved the use of color.


Here is another example of a quilt I loved...very different from the modern ones I chose to photograph! Again...I was drawn not only to the amazing applique' but also to the beautiful use of color by the artist.


And this quilt was absolutely phenomenal. I'd really like to do something circular like this sometime. I've made a few drunkard's path quilts but nothing this intricate...yet!


Another beautiful quilt...the colors seemed so "real" that the flowers on this quilt surely seemed alive!



And another...looking at this now I'm really glad I took the picture...I love the contrast of the geometric outer border with the curves of the floral blocks. The outer border seems to make this immediately more modern.


And yet, I loved this very traditional outer border just as much! Leanne Hurley of Geneva, Ilinois did the amazing applique' on this quilt which was quilted Elvira Illig of Elgin, Ilinois.


Making a "tree of life" quilt is on my "Lifetime Quilts" list, and I was absolutely in love with this version. I love the scrappy background and the whimsical appeal of this flowering tree!


These flowers just made me happy. I wish I could convey the sense of awe and admiration I felt while looking at every quilt at the show. It was so quiet and peaceful in the display area, and I almost felt like I just needed to whisper when I spoke.


Especially amazing to me were the hand-quilted quilts. I love to hand quilt, but my hand-quilting is so simple and un-sophisticated...this was truly amazing!



And finally...a quilt that caught my eye over and over again (I returned several times to stand in awe of this amazing quilt). I've never made a two-color quilt and hope to someday soon make a blue and cream quilt along with a red and white quilt...oh, and a red and green and white quilt...but that would be a three-color quilt!

I hope you've enjoyed viewing these amazing quilts. They were not only breathtaking but awe-inspiring. They have provided inspiration for some of my future quilting projects, and they also provide a kind of summary of the amazing experience I had at market.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!  Here in the United States we're celebrating Veteran's Day today...so thanks to all of those who have faithfully served our Nation.